Labeling tumor cells with fluorescent nanocrystal-aptamer bioconjugates

Biosens Bioelectron. 2006 Apr 15;21(10):1859-66. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2005.12.015. Epub 2006 Feb 21.


Aptamers that bind to prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) were conjugated to luminescent CdSe and CdTe nanocrystals for cell-labeling studies. The aptamer-nanocrystal conjugates showed specific targeting of both fixed and live cells that overexpressed PSMA. More importantly, aptamers were able to label cells dispersed in a collagen gel matrix simulating tissue. The specific binding abilities and synthetic accessibility of aptamers combined with the photostability and small size of semiconductor nanocrystals offers a powerful and general tool for cellular imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aptamers, Peptide / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Crystallization
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Protein Binding
  • Staining and Labeling* / methods


  • Aptamers, Peptide
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Fluorescent Dyes