Peptide-conjugated quantum dots activate neuronal receptors and initiate downstream signaling of neurite growth

Tania Q. Vu, Ravikanth Maddipati, Todd A. Blute, Barrett J. Nehilla, Leora Nusblat, Tejal A. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

119 Scopus citations


Quantum dots (QDs) could serve as fluorescent scaffolds for effecting specific physiological and pharmacological responses in cells. Here, we conjugate the peptide ligand βNGF to QD surfaces, and confirm surface modification and single QD nanostructure using AFM. We show that βNGF-QDs retain bioactivity, activate TrkA receptors, and initiate neuronal differentiation in PC12 cells. Receptor-evoked activity of QD-immobilized ligands has wide-ranging implications for the development of molecular tools and therapeutics targeted at understanding and regulating cell function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-607
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this