Since the development of x-rays the ability to image inside our bodies has provided medicine with a potent diagnostic tool, as well as fascinating us with the eerie evidence of our mechanistic mortality. In December 2008 Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Y Tsien received a Nobel Prize for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein. The award recognised a new discovery that further facilitated our abilities to follow cellular activities and delve deeper into the workings of living organisms.
Since the first observation of green fluorescent protein in jelly fish over thirty years ago, quantum dots have emerged as a potential alternative tool for imaging . The advantages of quantum dots over organic dyes and fluorescent proteins include intense luminescence, high molar extinction coefficient, resistance to photobleaching, and broad excitation with narrow emission bands.