Advanced Materials

Aqueous Near-Infrared Fluorescent Composites Based on Apoferritin-Encapsulated PbS Quantum Dots


  • This work is supported by the Medical Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the University of Nottingham, the European Commission (SANDiE Network of Excellence, NMP4-CT-2004-500101), and the Junta de Andalucía (PAI research group TEP-120). The authors thank Prof. Yang Scott, Dr. Adrienne Davis, and Dr. Liu Tong at the University of Nottingham for useful discussions.


PbS nanocrystals entrapped in the hollow core of apoferritin protein cages are synthesized in aqueous solution by both reassembly and nanoreactor routes. In both cases, apoferritin limits the size of the PbS quantum dot it can encapsulate to 8 nm and provides a route to the creation of a stable near-infrared fluorescent composite.

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