Luminescent nanoparticles and their use for in vitro and in vivo diagnostics
Fluorescence spectroscopy has been shown to be a useful tool for a broad variety of biological and medical applications. Many of the analytical methods, as used for tumor marker and gene mutation detection, recognition of pathogens or monitoring of cell-related processes, are based on the labeling of the investigating object with luminescent nanoparticles. Owing to their size, which is comparable to that of biomolecules, and to their extraordinary optical properties, luminescent nanoparticles could well improve the sensitivity and flexibility of current detection techniques. This article provides a general overview of the synthesis, properties and application of luminescent semiconductor, metal and inorganic nanoparticles for in vitro and in vivo diagnostics, also reflecting the aspect of biocompatibility.