Applications of fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals in microscopy and cytometry

I. A. Vorobjev, E. P. Rafalovskaya-Orlovskaya, A. A. Gladkih, D. M. Potashnikova, N. S. Barteneva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum dots (QD) nanocrystals consisting of CdSe core with ZnS shell are a novel class of fluorophores with tremendous potential in microscopy and cytometry techniques. The unique optical features of Qdots, namely, high photostability and extinction coefficient, wide absorption and narrow emission spectra, and large Stokes shift make them desirable fluorescent tags for diverse biomedical applications. Applications of this novel technology in microscopy and cytometry produce reliable multicolor specimens due to increased photostability, ability for multiplexing and narrow emission spectra of nanocrystals. QD conjugates are available on the market and could be prepared in the laboratory. This paper describes the application of QD-conjugates for immunophenotyping and FISH assessment of cells and tissues, and the requirements for microscope and flow cytometer reengineering for successful use of QD in multiplex fluorescent format. Despite the considerable progress, important methodological issues still need to be solved in terms of QD nanocrystals' size, heterogeneity, functionalization and stability of their conjugates. We discuss practical approaches and challenges that need to be addressed to make QD immunostaining a standard method in biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-403
Number of pages12
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 21 2011


  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescent nanocrystals
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Quantum dots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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