Cell-Penetrating Peptide-Functionalized Quantum Dots for Intracellular Delivery


Quantum dots (QDs) are luminescent semiconductor nanocrystals that are widely used as fluorescent probes in biomedical applications, including cellular imaging and tumor tracking. Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), also called protein transduction domains (PTDs), are short basic peptides that permeate cell membranes and are able to deliver a variety of macromolecule cargoes, such as DNAs, RNAs, proteins, and nanomaterials. Here we review strategies to couple QDs to CPPs, by either covalent linkages or noncovalent interactions, to provide a tool to study intracellular delivery. This facilitated transport of QDs by CPPs into cells is both simple and efficient. Accordingly, CPP-QD nanoparticles are likely to be of broad utility in biological research and advance the development of medical and pharmaceutical therapeutics.


Biological Sciences

Keywords and Phrases

Basic Peptides; Biological Research; Biomedical Applications; Cellular Imaging; Cellular Internalization; Covalent Linkage; Facilitated Transport; Fluorescent Probes; Functionalized; Intracellular Delivery; Luminescent Semiconductor Nanocrystals; Nano-Materials; Non-Covalent Interaction; Protein Transduction Domains; Quantum Dots; Tumor Tracking; Amino Acids; Arginine; Bacteriophages; Cell Membranes; Cytology; Nucleic Acids; Peptides; Semiconductor Quantum Dots; Chemistry; Methodology; Pinocytosis; Protein Transport; Cell-Penetrating Peptides; Drug Delivery Systems; Nanocomposites; Arginine-Rich

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1533-4880; 1533-4899

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2010 American Scientific Publishers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2010

PubMed ID