Enhanced Uptake of Luminescent Quantum Dots by Live Cells Mediated by a Membrane-Active Peptide

Anshika Kapur, Scott H. Medina, Wentao Wang, Goutam Palui, Xin Ji, Joel P. Schneider, Hedi Mattoussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The steady progress made over the past three decades in growing a variety of inorganic nanomaterials, with discreet control over their size and photophysical properties, has been exploited to develop several imaging and sensing applications. However, full integration of these materials into biology has been hampered by the complexity of delivering them into cells. In this report, we demonstrate the effectiveness of a chemically synthesized anticancer peptide to facilitate the rapid delivery of luminescent quantum dots (QDs) into live cells. We combine fluorescence imaging microscopy, flow cytometry, and specific endocytosis inhibition experiments to probe QD-peptide conjugate uptake by different cell lines. We consistently find that a sizable fraction of the internalized conjugates does not co-localize with endosomes or the nuclei. These findings are extremely promising for the potential integration of various nanomaterials into biological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17164-17172
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 12 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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