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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Capillary electrophoresis for the characterization of quantum dots after non-selective or selective bioconjugation with antibodies for immunoassay

Mark Pereira and Edward PC Lai*

Author Affiliations

Department of Chemistry, Ottawa-Carleton Chemistry Institute, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada

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Journal of Nanobiotechnology 2008, 6:10  doi:10.1186/1477-3155-6-10

Published: 1 October 2008


Capillary electrophoresis coupled with laser-induced fluorescence was used for the characterization of quantum dots and their conjugates to biological molecules. The CE-LIF was laboratory-built and capable of injection (hydrodynamic and electrokinetic) from sample volumes as low as 4 μL via the use of a modified micro-fluidic chip platform. Commercially available quantum dots were bioconjugated to proteins and immunoglobulins through the use of established techniques (non-selective and selective). Non-selective techniques involved the use of EDCHCl/sulfo-NHS for the conjugation of BSA and myoglobin to carboxylic acid-functionalized quantum dots. Selective techniques involved 1) the use of heterobifunctional crosslinker, sulfo-SMCC, for the conjugation of partially reduced IgG to amine-functionalized quantum dots, and 2) the conjugation of periodate-oxidized IgGs to hydrazide-functionalized quantum dots. The migration times of these conjugates were determined in comparison to their non-conjugated QD relatives based upon their charge-to-size ratio values. The performance of capillary electrophoresis in characterizing immunoconjugates of quantum dot-labeled IgGs was also evaluated. Together, both QDs and CE-LIF can be applied as a sensitive technique for the detection of biological molecules. This work will contribute to the advancements in applying nanotechnology for molecular diagnosis in medical field.