, Volume 400, Issue 2, pp 483-492
Date: 05 Mar 2011

Supramolecular complexes of quantum dots and a polyamidoamine (PAMAM)-folate derivative for molecular imaging of cancer cells

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Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers and water-soluble 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA)-capped CdSe quantum dots (QDs) were combined to produce a new gel containing supramolecular complexes of QDs/PAMAM dendrimers. The formation of the QDs/PAMAM supramolecular complexes was confirmed by high resolution electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analyses. Molecular dynamics simulations corroborated the structure of the new QDs/PAMAM-based supramolecular compound. Finally, on the basis of the prominent fluorescent properties of the supramolecular complexes, PAMAM dendrimer was functionalized with folic acid to produce a new QDs/PAMAM-folate derivative that showed an efficient and selective performance as a marker for gastric cancer cells.


The new QDs/PAMAM-folate derivative (left) is a selective marker for imaging of cancer cells as illustrated by the fluorescence image of human stomach adenocarcinoma (AGS) cells with internalized marker (right)