There have been tremendous advances in the development of in-situ labeling and screening of different biological entities, ranging from cells to DNAs. Many approaches have been developed for this purpose, such as the chemical encoding with molecular tags, organic fluorophores, fluorescent colloids and Raman fingerprints.
Problems Encountered with Some of the Materials Used for Biological Labeling
The development of labeling materials has been critically important. Some materials, such as quantum nanodots, organic dyes and metal nanoparticles, have been extensively used for biological labeling. However, their poor water solubility, lack of surface functionality, poor photochemical stability and biocompatibility, are still the main concerns. They have to be surface modified to better suit their integration with biological systems.
The Benefits of Using Mono-Dispersed Polymer Nanospheres with Incorporated Fluorophores for Biological Labeling
Recently, synthesis of mono-dispersed polymer nanospheres has stimulated great interest, and incorporation of fluorophores in these nanospheres is particularly attractive. In these nanocomposites, not only can the organic polymer stabilize the nanoparticles in a solid matrix, but they also effectively combine the peculiar features of organic and inorganic components, thus resulting in novel properties. These materials can bring new and unique capabilities to a variety of biomedical applications ranging from diagnosis of diseases to novel therapies.