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Multicolor Quantum Dots in Molecular Profiling of Cancer Cells and Tissues

  1. Pavel Zrazhevskiy,
  2. Xiaohu Gao

Published Online: 15 DEC 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119951438.eibc0328

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Zrazhevskiy, P. and Gao, X. 2011. Multicolor Quantum Dots in Molecular Profiling of Cancer Cells and Tissues. Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2011


Cancer represents a serious threat to our health despite considerable effort by scientific and medical community to combat this disease. It has been shown that detection of specific tumor biomarkers is important for cancer diagnosis and targeted therapy. However, a vast genetic and phenotypic variability of cancer first requires appropriate molecular characterization of cancer using conventional immunohistochemistry (IHC) techniques. Being single color and semiquantitative in nature, IHC methods are unable to address the need of quantitative multiplexed molecular profiling of clinical tissue samples. Therefore, development of new molecular profiling technologies is necessary for quantitative analysis of molecular signatures of individual patient's tumors. Quantum dots are emerging as a new class of fluorescent probes for biomolecular and cellular imaging. Owing to their unique optical properties, such as size-tunable light emission, simultaneous excitation of multiple colors, improved brightness, resistance to photobleaching, and extremely large Stokes shift, quantum dots represent a highly promising tool for detection and quantification of multiple biomarkers in cells, tissue samples, and even live organisms. This functionality will allow researchers to correlate a panel of cancer biomarkers with cancer behavior and clinical outcome and will open new opportunities for the development of personalized treatment schemes targeted specifically against markers expressed. Multiplexed marker detection will also provide a high-throughput tool for marker screening in cancer research.


  • molecular;
  • cancer;
  • quantum dots;
  • nanoparticles;
  • multiplexing;
  • profiling;
  • imaging;
  • fluorescence;
  • pathology;
  • quantitative;
  • spectroscopy;
  • diagnosis