Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2017, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (12): 2377-2387.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201706096

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Thermodynamics of the Interactions between Quantum Dots and Proteins

Ren YAN1,Lu LAI2,Zi-Qiang XU3,Feng-Lei JIANG1,*(),Yi LIU1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, P. R. China
    2 College of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023, Hubei Province, P. R. China
    3 Faculty of Materials Science & Engineering, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, P. R. China
  • Received:2017-04-07 Published:2017-09-05
  • Contact: Feng-Lei JIANG,Yi LIU;
  • Supported by:
    the National Science Foundation of China(21573168);the National Science Foundation of China(21303126);the National Science Foundation of China(21473125);the National Science Foundation of China(21403017);the National Science Foundation of China(21603067);National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, China(21225313)


Quantum dots (QDs) exhibit excellent properties, such as broad absorption, narrow emission, high photoluminescence quantum yields, tunable emission wavelength, and anti-photobleaching. As a result, QDs have important applications in biological imaging, tracking, and sensing. When QDs enter living systems, they first encounter proteins. The interactions between proteins and QDs significantly influence the structures and functions of the proteins, as well as the performance of the QDs in applications. Studies on the interactions between QDs and proteins can provide a theoretical basis for the design, efficient application, and safety evaluation of QDs. Herein we have summarized methods for characterizing the thermodynamics of QD-protein interactions, on the basis of previous work by both our group and others. We also highlight the thermodynamic mechanisms of the QD-protein interactions.

Key words: QDs, Protein, Interaction, Thermodynamics, Fluorescence quenching