Luminescent semiconductor nanocrystals or quantum dots (QDs) are a recentlydeveloped class of nanomaterial whose unique photophysical properties are helping tocreate a new generation of robust fluorescent biosensors. QD properties of interest forbiosensing include high quantum yields, broad absorption spectra coupled to narrow sizetunablephotoluminescent emissions and exceptional resistance to both photobleaching andchemical degradation. In this review, we examine the progress in adapting QDs for severalpredominantly in vitro biosensing applications including use in immunoassays, asgeneralized probes, in nucleic acid detection and fluorescence resonance energy transfer(FRET) - based sensing. We also describe several important considerations when workingwith QDs mainly centered on the choice of material(s) and appropriate strategies forattaching biomolecules to the QDs
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