Semiconductor quantum dots for multiplexed bio-detection on solid-state microarrays.
Understanding cellular systems requires identification and analysis of their multiple components and determination of how they act together and are regulated. Microarray technology is one of the few tools that is able to solve such problems. It is based on high-throughput recognition of a target to the probe and has the potential to simultaneously measure the presence of numerous molecules in multiplexed tests, all contained in a small drop of test fluid. Microarrays allow the parallel analysis of genomic or proteomic content in healthy versus disease-affected or altered tissues or cells. The signal read-out from the microarrays is done with organic dyes which often suffer of photobleaching, low brightness and background fluorescence. Recent data show that the use of fluorescent nanocrystals named « quantum dots » (QDs) allows to push these limits away. QDs are sufficiently bright to be detected as individual particles, extremely resistant against photobleaching and provide unique possibilities for multiplexing, thus supplying the microarray technology with a novel read-out option enabling the sensitivity of detection to reach the single-molecule level. This paper reviews QDs applications to microarray-based detection and demonstrates how the combination of microarray and QDs technologies may increase sensitivity and highly parallel capacities of multiplexed microarrays. Such a combination should provide the breakthrough results in drug discovery, cancer diagnosis and establish new therapeutic approaches through the identification of binding target molecules and better understanding of cell signalling pathways.Lire l‘article