Annexin-V/Quantum dot probes for multimodal apoptosis monitoring in living cells: improving bioanalysis using electrochemistry

Helena Monton, Claudio Parolo, Antonio Aranda-Ramos, Arben Merkoçi and Carme Nogués . Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 4097-4104

There is a great demand to develop novel techniques that allow useful and complete monitoring of apoptosis, which is a key factor of several diseases and target of drug development. Here, we present the use of a novel dual electrochemical/optical label for the detection and study of apoptosis. We combined the specificity of Annexin-V for phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid expressed in the outer membrane of apoptotic cells, with the optical and electrochemical properties of quantum dots to create a more efficient label. Using this conjugate we addressed three important issues: i) we made the labeling of apoptotic cells faster (30 min) and easier; ii) we fully characterized the samples with common cell biological techniques (Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Flow Cytometry); and iii) we developed a fast, cheap and quantitative electrochemical detection of apoptotic cells with results in fully agreement with those obtained by flow cytometry.