Quantum dot nano thermometers reveal heterogeneous local thermogenesis in living cells

Jui Ming Yang, Haw Yang, Liwei Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

355 Scopus citations


The local temperature response inside single living cells upon external chemical and physical stimuli was characterized using quantum dots as nano thermometers. The photoluminescence spectral shifts from endocytosed quantum dots were used to map intracellular heat generation in NIH/3T3 cells following Ca2+ stress and cold shock. The direct observation of inhomogeneous intracellular temperature progression raises interesting new possibilities, including further innovations in nanomaterials for sensing local responses, as well as the concept of subcellular temperature gradient for signaling and regulation in cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5067-5071
Number of pages5
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 28 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • intracellular temperature
  • nanobio
  • single-cell analysis
  • spectral imaging
  • thermal signaling


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