Theranostics 2012; 2(7):655-667. doi:10.7150/thno.3890


Single-Molecule Tracking in Living Cells Using Single Quantum Dot Applications

Koichi Baba, Kohji Nishida

Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

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Baba K, Nishida K. Single-Molecule Tracking in Living Cells Using Single Quantum Dot Applications. Theranostics 2012; 2(7):655-667. doi:10.7150/thno.3890. Available from

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Revealing the behavior of single molecules in living cells is very useful for understanding cellular events. Quantum dot probes are particularly promising tools for revealing how biological events occur at the single molecule level both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we will introduce how single quantum dot applications are used for single molecule tracking. We will discuss how single quantum dot tracking has been used in several examples of complex biological processes, including membrane dynamics, neuronal function, selective transport mechanisms of the nuclear pore complex, and in vivo real-time observation. We also briefly discuss the prospects for single molecule tracking using advanced probes.

Keywords: single molecule tracking, quantum dot, membrane dynamics, neuroscience, nuclear pore complex, in vivo real-time tracking.