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In this work we demonstrate progress in the colloidal synthesis of amphiphilic CdTe nanocrystals stabilized by thiolated PEG oligomers with the aim of facilitating cellular uptake of the particles. High-boiling, good coordinating solvents such as dimethylacetamide and dimethylformamide accelerate the growth of the nanoparticles yielding stable colloids of which photoluminescence maxima can be tuned to cover the region of 540-640 nm with quantum yields of up to 30%. The CdTe nanocrystals capped by thiolated methoxypolyethylene glycol are shown to penetrate through the lipid bilayer of giant unilamellar vesicles and giant plasma membrane vesicles which constitute basic endocytosis-free model membrane systems. Moreover, the penetration of amphiphilic particles through live cell plasma membranes and their ability to escape the endocytic pathway have been demonstrated.

Original publication

DOI

10.1021/nn204930y

Type

Journal article

Journal

ACS Nano

Publication Date

27/03/2012

Volume

6

Pages

2150 - 2156

Keywords

Animals, CHO Cells, Cadmium Compounds, Cell Membrane, Cricetinae, Cricetulus, Endocytosis, Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions, Intracellular Space, Molecular Weight, Polyethylene Glycols, Quantum Dots, Tellurium, Transition Temperature, Unilamellar Liposomes