Tremendous research efforts have been devoted to fabricating high quality quantum dots (QDs) for applications in biology and medicine. Much of this research was pursued with an ultimate goal of using QDs in clinical applications. However, a great deal of concern has been voiced about the potential hazards of QDs due to their heavy-metal content. Many studies have demonstrated toxicity of various QDs in cell culture studies. However, in a smaller number of studies using small animal models (mice and rats), no abnormal behaviour or tissue damage was noticed over periods of months after the systemic administration of QDs. Nevertheless, the correlation of these results with the potential for negative effects of QD on humans remains unclear. Many urgent questions must be answered before the QDs community moves into the clinical research phase. This review provides an overview of the toxicity assessment of QDs, ranging from cell culture studies to animal models and discusses their findings. Guidelines for using various nonhuman primate models for QD toxicity studies are highlighted. This review article is intended to promote the awareness of current developments of QD applications in biology, the potential toxicity of QDs, and approaches to minimizing toxicity.
"Most of the developed theranostic agents, however, are still difficult to be translated into clinical applications. A significant concern is the potential toxicity of constituent materials (e.g., metal or semiconductor nanoparticles) 5, 6. Some agents also require specialized equipments, besides imaging instruments, to release therapeutic materials (e.g., magnetic hyperthermia, photodynamic therapy). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Theranostic agents present a promising clinical approach for cancer detection and treatment. We herein introduce a microbubble and liposome complex (MB-Lipo) developed for ultrasound (US) imaging and activation. The MB-Lipo particles have a hybrid structure consisting of a MB complexed with multiple Lipos. The MB components are used to generate high echo signals in US imaging, while the Lipos serve as a versatile carrier of therapeutic materials. MB-Lipo allows high contrast US imaging of tumor sites. More importantly, the application of high acoustic pressure bursts MBs, which releases therapeutic Lipos and further enhances their intracellular delivery through sonoporation effect. Both imaging and drug release could thus be achieved by a single US modality, enabling in situ treatment guided by real-time imaging. The MB-Lipo system was applied to specifically deliver anti-cancer drug and genes to tumor cells, which showed enhanced therapeutic effect. We also demonstrate the clinical potential of MB-Lipo by imaging and treating tumor in vivo.
"Compared to traditional organic dyes and fluorescent proteins, QDs have some unique photophysical properties, for example, the broad/continuous excitation spectrum and narrow/symmetric emission spectrum, high photobleaching threshold, high emission quantum yield, and so on   . These advantages make QDs to be excellent probes for some chemical and biological assay   . Some metal ions, small molecules, and biomacromolecules could be detected by using QDs as fluorescent probe based on fluorescence quenching or fluorescence enhancement phenomenon       . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this contribution, a simple and sensitive fluorescent sensor for the determination of both the three ruthenium anticancer drugs (1 to 3) and calf thymus DNA (ctDNA) was established based on the CdTe quantum dots (QDs) fluorescence "OFF-ON" mode. Under the experimental conditions, the fluorescence of CdTe QDs can be effectively quenched by ruthenium anticancer drugs because of the surface binding of these drugs on CdTe QDs and the subsequent photoinduced electron transfer (PET) process from CdTe QDs to ruthenium anticancer drugs, which render the system into fluorescence "OFF" status. The system can then be "ON" after the addition of ctDNA which brought the restoration of CdTe QDs fluorescence intensity, since ruthenium anticancer drugs broke away from the surface of CdTe QDs and inserted into double helix structure of ctDNA. The fluorescence quenching effect of the CdTe QDs-ruthenium anticancer drugs systems was mainly concentration dependent, which could be used to detect three ruthenium anticancer drugs. The limits of detection were 5.5 × 10(-8) M for ruthenium anticancer drug 1, 7.0 × 10(-8) M for ruthenium anticancer drug 2, and 7.9× 10(-8) M for ruthenium anticancer drug 3, respectively. The relative restored fluorescence intensity was directly proportional to the concentration of ctDNA in the range of 1.0 × 10(-8) M ∼ 3.0 × 10(-7) M, with a correlation coefficient (R) of 0.9983 and a limit of detection of 1.1 × 10(-9) M. The relative standard deviation (RSD) for 1.5 × 10(-7) M ctDNA was 1.5% (n = 5). There was almost no interference to some common chemical compounds, nucleotides, amino acids, and proteins. The proposed method was applied to the determination of ctDNA in three synthetic samples with satisfactory results. The possible reaction mechanism of CdTe QDs fluorescence "OFF-ON" was further investigated. This simple and sensitive approach possessed some potential applications in the investigation of interaction between drug molecules and DNA.
"CdSe, CdTe) may impede their medical applications . A new class of quantum dots, called graphene quantum dots (GQD), has recently been synthesized , displaying the special physicochemical properties of graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb structure, endowed with large surface area and excellent thermal/chemical stability . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synthesis of new antibacterial agents is becoming increasingly important in light of the emerging antibiotic resistance. In the present study we report that electrochemically produced graphene quantum dots (GQD), a new class of carbon nanoparticles, generate reactive oxygen species when photoexcited (470 nm, 1 W), and kill two strains of pathogenic bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Bacterial killing was demonstrated by the reduction in number of bacterial colonies in a standard plate count method, the increase in propidium iodide uptake confirming the cell membrane damage, as well as by morphological defects visualized by atomic force microscopy. The induction of oxidative stress in bacteria exposed to photoexcited GQD was confirmed by staining with a redox-sensitive fluorochrome dihydrorhodamine 123. Neither GQD nor light exposure alone were able to cause oxidative stress and reduce the viability of bacteria. Importantly, mouse spleen cells were markedly less sensitive in the same experimental conditions, thus indicating a fairly selective antibacterial photodynamic action of GQD.
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