NSTI BioNano 2010

Biological Characterization of Aqueous CdSe/ZnS Quantum Dots

A. Nagy, A. Zane, P.K. Dutta, W.J. Waldman
The Ohio State University, US

Keywords: quantum dots, toxicity, internalization, compartmentalization


Quantum dots (QDs) are semiconductor nanocrystals that have found use in bioimaging, cell tracking and drug delivery among other applications. Because they are still costly to produce, we developed an inexpensive, time efficient synthetic protocol to develop high quality QDs. Research regarding the toxicity and fate of QDs in biological systems is lacking, although it is necessary to better understand cell/nanoparticle interactions. In this work, we used murine macrophages to characterize the cytotoxicity and inflammatory effects of these QDs. We also determined the mechanism of QD internalization and intracellular location in real time using live cell imaging. This data can be applied to assess the risks and benefits of using QDs for both in vitro and in vivo systems. In addition, this data can be used to better understand the endocytosis of inorganic nanoparticles and associated cellular responses. Future work will focus on the development and biocompatibility of “green” QDs.
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