Due to their interesting properties, research on colloidal nanocrystals has moved in the last few years from fundamental research to first applications in materials science and life sciences. In this review some recent biological applications of colloidal nanocrystals are discussed, without going into biological or chemical details. First, the properties of colloidal nanocrystals and how they can be synthesized are described. Second, the conjugation of nanocrystals with biological molecules is discussed. And third, three different biological applications are introduced: (i) the arrangement of nanocrystal–oligonucleotide conjugates using molecular scaffolds such as single-stranded DNA, (ii) the use of nanocrystal–protein conjugates as fluorescent probes for cellular imaging, and (iii) a motility assay based on the uptake of nanocrystals by living cells.
Parak, W. J., Gerion, D., Pellegrino, T., Zanchet, D., Micheel, C., Williams, S. C., … Alivisatos, A. P. (2003, July). Biological applications of colloidal nanocrystals. Nanotechnology. https://doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/14/7/201