A fluorescence resonance energy transfer quantum dot explosive nanosensor

Igor L. Medintz, Ellen R. Goldman, Aaron R. Clapp, H. Tetsuo Uyeda, Michael E. Lassman, Andrew Hayhurst, Hedi Mattoussi

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    Quantum dots (QDs) are a versatile synthetic photoluminescent nanomaterial whose chemical and photo-physical properties suggest that they may be superior to conventional organic fluorophores for a variety of biosensing applications. We have previously investigated QD-fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) interactions by using the E. coli bacterial periplasmic binding protein - maltose binding protein (MBP) which was site-specifically dye-labeled and self assembled onto the QD surface and allowed us to monitor FRET between the QD donor and the acceptor dye. FRET efficiency increased as a function of the number of dye-acceptor moieties arrayed around the QD donor. We used this system to further demonstrate a prototype FRET based biosensor that functioned in the chemical/nutrient sensing of maltose. There are a number of potential benefits to using this type of QD-FRET based biosensing strategy. The protein attached to the QDs surface functions as a biosensing and biorecognition element in this configuration while the QD acts as both nanoscaffold and FRET energy donor. In this report, we show that the sensor design can be extended to target a completely unrelated analyte, namely the explosive TNT. The sensor consists of anti-TNT antibody fragments self-assembled onto the QD surface with a dye-labeled analog of TNT (TNB coupled to AlexaFluor 555 dye) prebound in the fragment binding site. The close proximity of dye to QD establishes a baseline level of FRET and addition of TNT displaces the TNB-dye analog, recovering QD photoluminescence in a concentration dependent manner. Potential benefits of this QD sensing strategy are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number38
    Pages (from-to)166-174
    Number of pages9
    JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
    StatePublished - Aug 16 2005
    EventNanobiophotonics and Biomedical Applications II - San Jose, CA, United States
    Duration: Jan 24 2005Jan 27 2005


    • Antibody
    • Biosensor
    • Explosive
    • Fluorescence resonance energy-transfer
    • Nanotechnology
    • Quantum Dot

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Biomaterials
    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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