Quantum Dots Combined with Antibodies: Studying Cells in their Native Environment


QD Native Cells54c7fd4e425c2To understand cell function, we need to be able to study them in their native environment, in vivo. While there are many techniques for studying cells in vitro, or in the laboratory setting, in vivo studies are much more difficult. A new study by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School used a unique quantum dot-antibody conjugate to facilitate in vivo studies of bone marrow stem cells in mice. This study was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Typically, to study a cell in vivo involves making invasive modifications to the cell or the organism that disrupt the cell’s native environment. Additionally, many in vivo studies involve studying groups of cells, rather than tracking a single cell. Prior techniques involved manipulating the cells by immunohistochemistry, genetic engineering, or irradiation of the organism. All of these techniques either create…

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