NIR-emitting CdSeTe/CdS/ZnS core/shell/shell QD-encoded microbeads are combined with common flow cytometry with one laser for multiplexed detection of hepatitis B virus (HBV). A facile one-pot synthetic route is developed to prepare CdSeTe/CdS/ZnS core/shell/shell QDs with high photoluminescence quantum yield and excellent stability in liquid paraffin, and a Shirasu porous glass (SPG) membrane emulsification technique is applied to incorporate the QDs into polystyrene–maleic anhydride (PSMA) microbeads to obtain highly fluorescent QD-encoded microbeads. The relatively wide NIR photoluminescence full width half maximum of the CdSeTe/CdS/ZnS QDs is used to develop a ‘single wavelength’ encoding method to obtain different optical codes by changing the wavelengh and emission intensity of the QDs incorporated into the microbeads. Moreover, a detection platform combining NIR-emitting CdSeTe/CdS/ZnS QD-encoded microbeads and Beckman Coulter FC 500 flow cytometry with one laser of 488 nm is successfully used to conduct a 2-plex hybridization assay for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), and a 3-plex hybridization assay for hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb), hepatitis B e antibody (HBeAb), and hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb), which suggests the promising application of NIR QD-encoded microbeads for multiplex immunoassays.
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