Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 391, Issue 5, pp 1609–1618 | Cite as

Quantum dots as donors in fluorescence resonance energy transfer for the bioanalysis of nucleic acids, proteins, and other biological molecules

  • W. Russ Algar
  • Ulrich J. Krull


Quantum dots (QDs) have a number of unique optical properties that are advantageous in the development of bioanalyses based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Researchers have used QDs as energy donors in FRET schemes for the analysis of nucleic acids, proteins, proteases, haptens, and other small molecules. This paper reviews these applications of QDs. Existing FRET technologies can potentially be improved by using QDs as energy donors instead of conventional fluorophores. Superior brightness, resistance to photobleaching, greater optimization of FRET efficiency, and/or simplified multiplexing are possible with QD donors. The applicability of the Förster formalism to QDs and the feasibility of using QDs as energy acceptors are also reviewed.


A ligand capped core/shell quantum dot acting as energy donor in a FRET process with aconjugated Cy3 labeled oligonucleotide


Quantum dots Fluorescence resonance energy transfer Nucleic acids Maltose binding protein Nanobiotechnology 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of their research by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). W.R.A. is also grateful to NSERC for provision of a graduate fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical Sensors Group, Department of Chemical and Physical SciencesUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada

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