Intracellular Delivery of Quantum Dots for Live Cell Labeling and Organelle Tracking


  • We thank Dennis Young for assistance with flow cytometry, Carolan Buckmaster for microinjection, and Mike Sailor for providing facilities for QD synthesis. Funding provided by DARPA-MTO, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, NIH T32 HL07089, NIH NDDK, University of Toronto (WC), the Connaught Foundation (WC), Canadian Foundation for Innovation (WC), and Ontario Innovation Trust (WC).


Several strategies borrowed from the field of gene delivery are adapted to enhance delivery of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) to the interior of live cells. To traffic QDs to subcellular organelles, QDs were then derivatized with known peptide localization sequences, demonstrating the ability to target QDs to the nucleus and mitochondria (see Figure).