Quantum dots as a novel immunofluorescent detection system for Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia. (1/780)

Semiconductor quantum dot-conjugated antibodies were successfully developed to label Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia. This novel fluorescence system exhibited superior photostability, gave 1.5- to 9-fold-higher signal-to-noise ratios than traditional organic dyes in detecting C. parvum, and allowed dual-color detection for C. parvum and G. lamblia.  (+info)

Visualization and quantitation of peroxisomes using fluorescent nanocrystals: treatment of rats and monkeys with fibrates and detection in the liver. (2/780)

Peroxisome proliferation in the liver is a well-documented response that occurs in some species upon treatment with hypolipidemic drugs, such as fibrates. Typically, liver peroxisome proliferation has been estimated by direct counting via electron microscopy, as well as by gene expression, enzyme activity, and immunolabeling. We have developed a novel method for the immunofluorescent labeling of peroxisomes, using an antibody to the 70-kDa peroxisomal membrane protein (PMP70) coupled with fluorescent nanocrystals, Quantum Dots. This method is applicable to standard formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. Using this technique, a dose-dependent increase in PMP70 labeling was evident in formalin-fixed liver sections from fenofibrate-treated rats. In formalin-fixed liver sections from cynomolgus monkeys given ciprofibrate, quantitative image analysis showed a statistically significant increase in PMP70 labeling compared to control; the increase in hepatic PMP70 protein levels was corroborated by immunoblotting using total liver protein. An increase in hepatic peroxisome number in ciprofibrate-treated monkeys was confirmed by electron microscopy. An advantage of the Quantum Dot/PMP70 method is that a single common protocol can be used to label peroxisomes from several different species, and many of the common problems that arise with immunolabeling, such as fading and low signal strength, are eliminated.  (+info)

Examining intracellular organelle function using fluorescent probes: from animalcules to quantum dots. (3/780)

Fluorescence microscopy imaging has become one of the most useful techniques to assess the activity of individual cells, subcellular trafficking of signals to and between organelles, and to appreciate how organelle function is regulated. The past 2 decades have seen a tremendous advance in the rational design and development in the nature and selectivity of probes to serve as reporters of the intracellular environment in live cells. These probes range from small organic fluorescent molecules to fluorescent biomolecules and photoproteins ingeniously engineered to follow signaling traffic, sense ionic and nonionic second messengers, and report various kinase activities. These probes, together with recent advances in imaging technology, have enabled significantly enhanced spatial and temporal resolution. This review summarizes some of these developments and their applications to assess intracellular organelle function.  (+info)

Simultaneous atomic force microscope and fluorescence measurements of protein unfolding using a calibrated evanescent wave. (4/780)

Fluorescence techniques for monitoring single-molecule dynamics in the vertical dimension currently do not exist. Here we use an atomic force microscope to calibrate the distance-dependent intensity decay of an evanescent wave. The measured evanescent wave transfer function was then used to convert the vertical motions of a fluorescent particle into displacement (SD = < 1 nm). We demonstrate the use of the calibrated evanescent wave to resolve the 20.1 +/- 0.5-nm step increases in the length of the small protein ubiquitin during forced unfolding. The experiments that we report here make an important contribution to fluorescence microscopy by demonstrating the unambiguous optical tracking of a single molecule with a resolution comparable to that of an atomic force microscope.  (+info)

Use of semiconductor quantum dots for photostable immunofluorescence labeling of Cryptosporidium parvum. (5/780)

Cryptosporidium parvum is a waterborne pathogen that poses potential risk to drinking water consumers. The detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts, its transmissive stage, is used in the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency method 1622, which utilizes organic fluorophores such as fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) to label the oocysts by conjugation with anti-Cryptosporidium sp. monoclonal antibody (MAb). However, FITC exhibits low resistance to photodegradation. This property will inevitably limit the detection accuracy after a short period of continuous illumination. In view of this, the use of inorganic fluorophores, such as quantum dot (QD), which has a high photobleaching threshold, in place of the organic fluorophores could potentially enhance oocyst detection. In this study, QD605-streptavidin together with biotinylated MAb was used for C. parvum oocyst detection. The C. parvum oocyst detection sensitivity increased when the QD605-streptavidin concentration was increased from 5 to 15 nM and eventually leveled off at a saturation concentration of 20 nM and above. The minimum QD605-streptavidin saturation concentration for detecting up to 4,495 +/- 501 oocysts (mean +/- standard deviation) was determined to be 20 nM. The difference in the enumeration between 20 nM QD605-streptavidin with biotinylated MAb and FITC-MAb was insignificant (P > 0.126) when various C. parvum oocyst concentrations were used. The QD605 was highly photostable while the FITC intensity decreased to 19.5% +/- 5.6% of its initial intensity after 5 min of continuous illumination. The QD605-based technique was also shown to be sensitive for oocyst detection in reservoir water. This observation showed that the QD method developed in this study was able to provide a sensitive technique for detecting C. parvum oocysts with the advantage of having a high photobleaching threshold.  (+info)

Imaging takes a quantum leap. (6/780)

Semiconducting nanocrystals, or quantum dots (QDs), have emerged as a new tool in physiological imaging, combining high brilliance, photostability, broad excitation but very narrow emission spectra, and surface chemistry compatible with biomolecular conjugation. In this review, we demonstrate the power of QDs in diverse applications, including long-term in vivo fluorescence imaging.  (+info)

Intraoperative sentinel lymph node mapping of the lung using near-infrared fluorescent quantum dots. (7/780)

BACKGROUND: The presence of lymph node metastases is an important prognostic marker with regard to non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Assessment of the sentinel lymph node (SLN) for the presence of tumor may improve staging. Our objective was to develop an optical noninvasive imaging tool that would permit intraoperative SLN mapping and provide real-time visual feedback for image-guided localization and resection. METHODS: Invisible near-infrared (NIR) light penetrates relatively deeply into tissue and background autofluorescence is low. We have developed a NIR fluorescence imaging system that simultaneously displays color video and NIR images of the surgical field. We recently engineered 15 nm nonradioactive NIR fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) as optimal lymphotrophic optical probes. The introduction of these QDs into lung tissue allows real-time visualization of draining lymphatic channels and nodes. RESULTS: In 12 Yorkshire pigs (mean weight 35 kg) we demonstrated that 200 pmol of NIR QDs injected into lobar parenchyma accurately maps lymphatic drainage and the SLN. All SLNs were strongly fluorescent and easily visualized within 5 minutes of injection. In 14 separate injections QDs localized to a mediastinal node, whereas in 2 injections QDs localized to a hilar intraparenchymal node. Histologic analysis in all cases confirmed the presence of nodal tissue. CONCLUSIONS: We report a highly sensitive rapid technique for SLN mapping of the lung. This technique permits precise real-time imaging and therefore overcomes many limitations of currently available techniques.  (+info)

Quantum dots for live cells, in vivo imaging, and diagnostics. (8/780)

Research on fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals (also known as quantum dots or qdots) has evolved over the past two decades from electronic materials science to biological applications. We review current approaches to the synthesis, solubilization, and functionalization of qdots and their applications to cell and animal biology. Recent examples of their experimental use include the observation of diffusion of individual glycine receptors in living neurons and the identification of lymph nodes in live animals by near-infrared emission during surgery. The new generations of qdots have far-reaching potential for the study of intracellular processes at the single-molecule level, high-resolution cellular imaging, long-term in vivo observation of cell trafficking, tumor targeting, and diagnostics.  (+info)