Fluorescent nanocrystals for use in early cervical cancer detection
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BACKGROUND: Quantum dots (qdots) are a promising alternative to organic fluorophores for biological imaging. Advantages of quantum dots over organic fluorophores include broad excitation coupled with narrow, tunable emission, high resistance to chemical and metabolic degradation, a higher photobleaching threshold and finally the ability to be modified with a targeting ligand. These many properties allow quantum dots to be used in conjunction with optical detection methods for imaging. METHODS: We are investigating the use of quantum dots to detect precancerous biomarkers. We have directly targeted epidermal growth factor receptors with quantum dots conjugated to anti-EGFR antibodies. RESULTS: Compared to appropriate controls, we do see specific labeling of EGF receptors. CONCLUSIONS: Quantum dots provide a promising alternative to conventional organic dyes for biological imaging. Combined with optical imaging technologies, quantum dots can help visualize changes in cervical cancer at the molecular level. This ability may alert health care providers to the need for intervention before a cancer can metastasize.
author list (cited authors)
Nida, D. L., Rahman, M. S., Carlson, K. D., Richards-Kortum, R., & Follen, M.