Single-molecule tracking in living cells using single quantum dot applications

Theranostics. 2012;2(7):655-67. doi: 10.7150/thno.3890. Epub 2012 Jul 6.


Revealing the behavior of single molecules in living cells is very useful for understanding cellular events. Quantum dot probes are particularly promising tools for revealing how biological events occur at the single molecule level both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we will introduce how single quantum dot applications are used for single molecule tracking. We will discuss how single quantum dot tracking has been used in several examples of complex biological processes, including membrane dynamics, neuronal function, selective transport mechanisms of the nuclear pore complex, and in vivo real-time observation. We also briefly discuss the prospects for single molecule tracking using advanced probes.

Keywords: in vivo real-time tracking.; membrane dynamics; neuroscience; nuclear pore complex; quantum dot; single molecule tracking.