Thomas Pons

INSERM Researcher


Room: Building C, 160B
Phone: +33 1 40 79 45 95

Research interests

Synthesis and functionalization of fluorescent quantum dots for biological sensing and bio/medical imaging.


2001-2004 PhD – Université Pierre et Marie Curie, “Applications de la génération de second harmonique à l’imagerie biologique”

2000-2001 DEA Physique Quantique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie



A Banerjee, T Pons, N Lequeux, B Dubertret, Quantum dots–DNA bioconjugates: synthesis to applications, Interface Focus 6 (6), 20160064 (2016)

N. Hildebrandt, C. M Spillmann, W R. Algar, T. Pons, M. H Stewart, E. Oh, K. Susumu, S. A Díaz, J. B Delehanty, I. L Medintz, Chem. Rev (2016)

M Tasso, M Singh; E Giovanelli; A Fragola; V Loriette; M Regairaz; F Dautry; F Treussart; Z Lenkei; N Lequeux; T PonsOriented Bioconjugation of Unmodified Antibodies to Quantum Dots Capped with Copolymeric Ligands As Versatile Cellular Imaging Tools“, ACS Appl Mater Interf 7,  26904 (2015).

M Tasso, E Giovanelli, D Zala, S Bouccara, A Fragola, M Hanafi,  Z Lenkei, T Pons, and N Lequeux, “Sulfobetaine-Vinylimidazole Block Copolymers: A Robust Quantum Dot Surface Chemistry  Expanding Bioimaging’s Horizons”, ACS Nano 9, 11479 (2015).

KB Gemmill, SA Diaz, JB Blanco-Canosa, JR Deschamps, T Pons, HW Liu, A Deniz, J Melinger, E Oh, K Susumu, MH Stewart, DA Hastman, Jr., SH North, JB Delehanty, PE Dawson,and IL Medintz, “Examining the Polyproline Nanoscopic Ruler in the Context of Quantum Dots”, Chem Mater, 27: 6222–6237 (2015).

MA Langevin, T Pons, AM Ritcey and CN Allen, “Near-Infrared Emitting AgInTe2 and Zn-Ag-In-Te Colloidal Nanocrystals”, Nanoscale Research Letters, 10:255 (2015).

A Banerjee, C Grazon, B Nadal, T Pons, Y Krishnan, B Dubertret, “Fast, efficient and stable conjugation of multiple DNA strands on colloidal quantum dots”, Bioconjugate Chem , 26:1582–1589 (2015).

Z Sun, G Sitbon, T Pons, A Bakulin and Z Chen, “Reduced Carrier Recombination in PbS – CuInS2 Quantum Dot Solar Cells”, Sci Rep 5:16026 (2015).

S Bouccara, G Sitbon, A Fragola, V Loriette, N Lequeux and T Pons, “Enhancing fluorescence in vivo imaging using inorganic nanoprobes”, Curr Opin Biotech., 34:65–72 (2015).

G Sitbon, S Bouccara, M Tasso, A Francois, L Bolotine , F Marchal, M Beaumont and T Pons , “Multimodal Mn-doped I-III-VI quantum dots for near infrared fluorescence and magnetic resonance imaging: from synthesis to in vivo application” , Nanoscale, , 6:9264 – 9272 (2014).

S Bouccara, A Fragola , E Giovanelli , G Sitbon , N Lequeux , T Pons , V Loriette “Time-gated cell imaging using long lifetime near-infrared-emitting quantum dots for autofluorescence rejection.” J. Biomed. Optics, 19:051208 (2014).

F Knittel, E Gravel, E Cassette, T Pons, F Pillon, B Dubertret, E Doris, “On the Characterization of the Surface Chemistry of Quantum Dots”,  Nano Letters, 13:5075–5078 (2013).

V Dzhagan, M Valakh, A Milekhin, N Yeryukov,D Zahn, E Cassette, T Pons, B Dubertret “Raman- and IR-active Phonons in CdSe-CdS Core/Shell Nanocrystals in Presence of Interface Alloying and Strain”, J Phys Chem C (2013).

D Wegner, P Lanh, T Jennings, E Oh, V Jain, S Fairclough, J Smith, E Giovanelli, N Lequeux, T Pons, N Hildebrandt “Influence of luminescence quantum yield, surface coating and functionalization of quantum dots on the sensitivity of time-resolved FRET bioassays“, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 5:2881-92 (2013).

E Oh, F Fatemi, M Currie, JB Delehanty, A Fragola, S Leveque-Fort, T Pons, J Macklin, R Goswami, A Huston, IL Medintz,  “PEGylated Luminescent Gold Nanoclusters: Synthesis, Characterization, Bioconjugation and Application to One- and Two-Photon Cellular Imaging”, Part Part System Char, 30: 453–466 (2013).

E Cassette, M Helle, L Bezdetnaya, F Marchal, B Dubertret and  T PonsDesign of new Quantum Dot Materials for Deep Tissue Infrared Imaging”, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 65:719-731 (2013).

E Gravel, C Tanguy, E Cassette, T Pons, F Knittel, N Bernards, A Garofalakis, F Ducongé, B Dubertret, E Doris, “ Compact tridentate ligands for enhanced stability of quantum dots and in vivo imaging”, Chem. Sci., 4:411-417 (2012).

E Giovanelli, E Muro, G Sitbon, M Hanafi, T Pons, B Dubertret and N Lequeux, “Highly Enhanced Affinity of Multidentate versus Bidentate Zwitterionic Ligands for Long-Term Quantum Dot Bio-imaging”, Langmuir, 28:15177–15184 (2012).

E Cassette, B Mahler, JM Guigner, G Patriarche, B Dubertret, T Pons, “Colloidal CdSe CdS Dot-in-Plate Nanocrystals with 2D-Polarized Emission”, ACS Nano, 6:6741–6750 (2012).

M Helle, E Cassette; L Bezdetnaya, T Pons, A Leroux, F Plénat, F Guillemin, B Dubertret and F Marchal, “Visualisation of Sentinel Lymph Node with Indium-Based Near Infrared Emitting Quantum Dots in a Murine Metastatic Breast Cancer Model”, PLoS ONE, 7:e44433 (2012).

E Muro, A. Fragola, T Pons, N Lequeux, A Ioannou, P Skourides and B Dubertret, “Comparing Intracellular Stability and Targeting of Sulfobetaine Quantum Dots with Other Surface Chemistries in Live Cells”, Small  8: 1029–1037 (2012).

T Pons, IL Medintz, D Farrell, X Wang, AF Grimes, DS English, L Berti and H Mattoussi “Single Quantum Dot Colocalization Studies Shed Light on the Idea of Fully Emitting Versus Dark Single Quantum Dots “, Small 7:2101–2108 (2011).

P Vermeulen, E Muro, T Pons , V Loriette, A Fragola, “Adaptive optics for fluorescence wide field microscopy using spectrally independent guide star and markers“, J. Biomed. Opt.  (2011) 16:079019..

J Nicolas, D Brambilla, O Carion, T Pons, I Maksimovic, E Larquet, B Le Droumaguet, K Andrieux, B Dubertret and P Couvreur “Quantum dots-loaded PEGylated poly(alkyl cyanoacrylate) nanoparticles for in vitro and in vivo imaging”, Soft Matter (2011) 7:6187-6193 (2011).

E Cassette, T Pons, C Bouet, M Helle, L Bezdetnaya, F Marchal, B Dubertret “Synthesis and Characterization of Near Infrared Cu-In-Se/ZnS Core/Shell Quantum Dots for In Vivo Imaging”, Chem. Mater. 22:6117–6124 (2010).

E Muro, T Pons, N Lequeux, A Fragola, N Sanson, Z Lenkei, B Dubertret “Small and Stable Sulfobetaine Zwitterionic Quantum Dots for Functional Live-Cell Imaging”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132:4556–4557 (2010).

T Pons, E Pic, N Lequeux, E Cassette, L Bezdetnaya, F Guillemin, F Marchal, B Dubertret “Cadmium-free CuInS2/ZnS Quantum Dots for Sentinel Lymph Node Imaging with Reduced Toxicity”, ACS Nano 4: 2531–2538 (2010).

T. Pons et B. Dubertret, « Vers de nouveaux nano-marqueurs fluorescents pour l’imagerie biomédicale », Biofutur (2010).

IL Medintz, T Pons, K Susumu, K Boeneman, A Dennis, D Farrell, JR Deschamps, JS Melinger, G Bao and H Mattoussi “Resonance Energy Transfer Between Luminescent Quantum Dots and Diverse Fluorescent Protein Acceptors”, J. Phys. Chem. C. 113:18552–18561 (2009).

E Pic, T Pons, L Bezdetnaya, A Leroux, F Guillemin, B Dubertret, F Marchal “Whole-body Bio-Distribution of Near-Infrared Emitting Quantum Dot after Subcutaneous Injection for Regional Lymph Node Mapping in Healthy Mice”, Mol. Imaging and Biology 12:394-405 (2009).

T Pons, N Lequeux, B Mahler, S Sasnouski, A Fragola, B Dubertret “Synthesis of Near Infrared Emitting Water Soluble CdTeSe/CdZnS Core/Shell Quantum Dots”, Chem. Mater. 21:1418–1424 (2009).

F Marchal, E Pic, T Pons, B Dubertret, L Bolotine, F Guillemin “Quantum dots en chirurgie oncologique : un rôle d’avenir pour le marquage des berges d’exérèse ?”, Bull. Canc. 95: 1149-53 (2008).

IL Medintz, T Pons, S Trammell, A Grimes, DS English, J Blanco-Canosa, P Dawson, H Mattoussi “Interactions between Redox Complexes and Semiconductor Quantum Dots Coupled via a Peptide Bridge”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2008).

T Pons and H Mattoussi, “Investigating Biological Processes at the Single Molecule Level using Luminescent Quantum Dots”, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 37, 1934-1959 (2009).

F Ducongé, T Pons, C Pestourie, L Hérin, B Thézé, K Gombert, B Mahler, F Hinnen, B Kuhnast, F Dollé, B Dubertret, and B Tavitian, “Fluorine-18-Labeled Phospholipid Quantum Dot Micelles for in Vivo Multimodal Imaging from Whole Body to Cellular Scales”, Bioconj. Chem. 19, 1921-1926 (2008).

I Medintz, T Pons, J Delehanty, K Susumu, F Brunel, P Dawson, H Mattoussi, “Intracellular Delivery of Quantum Dot-Protein Cargos Mediated by Cell Penetrating Peptides”, Bioconj. Chem. 19, 1785-1795 (2008).

JB Delehanty, BJ Johnson, TE Hickey, T Pons and FS Ligler, “Binding and Neutralization of Lipopolysaccharides by Plant Proanthocyanidins”, J. Nat. Prod. 70, 1718-1724 (2007).

K Susumu, HT Uyeda, IL Medintz, T Pons, JB Delehanty, and H Mattoussi “Enhancing the Stability and Biological Functionalities of Quantum Dots via Compact Multifunctional Ligands”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 129, 13987-13996 (2007).

O Carion, B Mahler, T Pons and B Dubertret, “Synthesis, encapsulation, purification and coupling of single quantum dots in phospholipid micelles for their use in cellular and in vivo imaging”, Nature Protocols 2, 2383-2390 (2007).

T Pons*, IL Medintz*, KE Sapsford, S Higashiya, AF Grimes, DS English, and H Mattoussi, “On the Quenching of Semiconductor Quantum Dot Photoluminescence by Proximal Gold Nanoparticles”, Nanoletters 7, 3157-3164 (2007).

IL Medintz*, L Berti*, T Pons, AF Grimes, DS English, A Alessandrini, P Facci, and H Mattoussi, “   A Reactive Peptidic Linker for Self-Assembling Hybrid Quantum Dot-DNA Bioconjugates”, Nanoletters 7, 1741-1748 (2007).

KE Sapsford, T Pons, IL Medintz, S Higashiya, FM Brunel, PE Dawson, and H Mattoussi,“Kinetics of Metal-Affinity Driven Self-Assembly Between Proteins or Peptides and CdSe-ZnS Quantum Dots”, J. Phys. Chem. C, 111, 11528-11538 (2007).

AR Clapp, T Pons, IL Medintz, JB Delehanty, JS Melinger, T Tiefenbrunn, PE Dawson, BR Fisher, B O’Rourke, and H Mattoussi, “Two-Photon Excitation of Quantum Dot-Based Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer and its Applications”, Adv. Mater. 19, 1921-1926 (2007).

T Pons, IL Medintz, X Wang, DS English, H Mattoussi, “Solution-Phase Single Quantum Dot Fluorescence Resonant Energy Transfer Sensing”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 15324-15331 (2006).

T Pons, HT Uyeda, IL Medintz and H Mattoussi, “Hydrodynamic Dimensions, Electrophoretic Mobility and Stability of Hydrophilic Quantum Dots”, J. Phys. Chem. B, 110, 20308-20316 (2006).

JB Delehanty, IL Medintz,  PE Dawson, T Pons, H Mattoussi, “Quantum dot-peptide assemblies for selective intracellular delivery and labeling”, Bionconj. Chem.,17, 920-927 (2006).

KE Sapsford*, T Pons*, IL Medintz and H Mattoussi, “Biosensing with luminescent semiconductor quantum dots”, Sensors, 6, 925-953 (2006). (* contribution égale)

T Pons, IL Medintz, M Sykora, H Mattoussi, “Spectrally resolved energy transfer using quantum dot donors:  Ensemble and single-molecule photoluminescence studies”, Phys. Rev. B, 73, 245302 (2006).

IL Medintz, KE Sapsford, AR Clapp, T Pons, S Higashiya, JT Welch and H Mattoussi, “Designer Variable Repeat Length Polypeptides as Scaffolds for Surface Immobilization of Quantum Dots”, J. Phys. Chem. B, 110, 10683-10690 (2006).

T Pons, J Mertz, “Membrane potential detection with second-harmonic generation and two-photon excited fluorescence: A theoretical comparison”, Opt. Comm., 258: 203–209(2006).

C Katan, F Terenziani, O Mongin, MHV Werts, L Porres, T. Pons, J Mertz, S Tretiak, Mireille Blanchard-Desce, “Effects of (multi)branching of dipolar chromophores on photophysical properties and two-photon absorption”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 109(13): 3024-3037 (2005).

T Pons, J Mertz, “Imager dans la profondeur des tissus : les microscopies biphotoniques”, Images de la Physique, éd. CNRS, 2005.

L Porres, O Mongin, C Katan, M Charlot, BKC Bhatthula, V Jouikov, T. Pons, J Mertz, M Blanchard-Desce,  “Two-photon absorption and fluorescence with quadrupolar and branched chromophores – effect of structure and branching”, J Nonlin. Opt. Phys & Mat. 13 (3-4): 451-460 (2004).

MHV Werts, S Gmouh, O Mongin, T. Pons, M Blanchard-Desce, “Strong modulation of two-photon excited fluorescence of quadripolar dyes by (de)protonation”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 126 (50): 16294-16295 (2004).

L. Porres, C. Katan, O. Mongin, T. Pons, J. Mertz, M. Blanchard-Desce, “Two-photon absorption and fluorescence in nanoscale multipolar chromophores: effect of dimensionality and charge-symmetry,” J. Molecular Structure 704, 17-24 (2004).

T. Pons, J. Mertz, “Auto-confocal microscopy using nonlinear transmitted light detection J. Opt. Soc. Am. B-Optical Physics 21, 1486-1493 (2004).

L. Porres, O. Mongin, C. Katan, M. Charlot, T. Pons, J. Mertz and M. Blanchard-Desce, “Enhanced Two-Photon Absorption with Novel Octupolar Propeller-Shaped Fluorophores Derived from Triphenylamine”, Organics Letters, 6, 47-50 (2004).

O. Mongin, L. Porrès, C. Katan, T. Pons, J. Mertz and M. Blanchard-Desce, “Synthesis and two-photon absorption of highly soluble three-branched fluorenylene-vinylene derivatives”, Tetrahedron Letters 44, 8121-8125 (2003).

T. Pons, L. Moreaux, O. Mongin, M. Blanchard-Desce, J. Mertz, “Mechanisms of membrane potential sensing with second-harmonic generation microscopy“, J. Biomed. Opt. 8 (3), 428-431 (2003).

L. Moreaux, T. Pons, V. Dambrin, M. Blanchard-Desce, J. Mertz, “Electro-optic response of second-harmonic generation membrane potential sensors”, Opt. Lett. 28, 625-627 (2003).

T. Pons, L. Moreaux, J. Mertz, “Photo-induced flip-flop of amphiphilic molecules in lipid bilayer membranes”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 288104 (2002).

J. Mertz, L. Moreaux, T. Pons, E. Beaurepaire, S. Charpak, “Microscopy with femtosecond lasers”, J. Phys. IV France 12, Pr5-53 (2002).


Book chapters


T Pons, “Single molecule Applications”, in “FRET – Förster Resonance Energy Transfer”, Eds. I. Medintz and N. Hildebrandt, John Wiley & Sons (2013).

T Pons and H Mattoussi, “Single Particle Investigation of Biological Processes Using QD-bioconjugates”, in “Inorganic Nanoprobes for Biological Sensing and Imaging”, Eds. J. Cheon and H. Mattoussi, Artech House Publishing (2008).

T Pons, AR Clapp, IL Medintz, H Mattoussi, « Luminescent Semiconductor Quantum Dots in Biology », in “Nanobiotechnology II”, Eds. CA Mirkin and CM Niemeyer, John Wiley & Sons (2007).

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