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Quantum dots are available in a range of spectrally separated emission colors and with a range of water-stabilizing surface coatings that offers great flexibility for enabling bio-specificity. In this study, we have taken advantage of this flexibility to demonstrate that it is possible to perform a simultaneous investigation of the lateral dynamics in the plasma membrane of i) the transmembrane epidermal growth factor receptor, ii) the glucosylphospatidylinositol-anchored protein CD59, and iii) ganglioside GM1-cholera toxin subunit B clusters in a single cell. We show that a large number of the trajectories are longer than 50 steps, which we by simulations show to be sufficient for robust single trajectory analysis. This analysis shows that the populations of the diffusion coefficients are heterogeneously distributed for all three species, but differ between the different species. We further show that the heterogeneity is decreased upon treating the cells with methyl-β-cyclodextrin.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Animals, CD59 Antigens, Cell Survival, Cell Tracking, Computer Simulation, Diffusion, ErbB Receptors, G(M1) Ganglioside, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Mercaptoethanol, Mice, Monte Carlo Method, Quantum Dots, Reproducibility of Results, Staining and Labeling, Streptavidin