Quantum Dots in Biomedical Applications
51 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019 First Look: Accepted
Semiconducting nanocrystals, more commonly known as quantum dots, possess unique size and shape dependent optoelectronic properties. In recent years, these unique properties have attracted much attention in the biomedical field to enable real-time tissue imaging (bioimaging), diagnostics, single molecule sensors, and drug delivery, among many other areas. The optical properties of quantum dots can be tuned by size and composition, and their small size and high surface area make them excellent candidates for intracellular tracking, diagnostics, in vivo imaging, and therapeutic delivery. We discuss recent advances and challenges in the molecular design of quantum dots are discussed, along with applications of quantum dots as drug delivery vehicles, theranostic agents, single molecule sensors, and real-time in vivo deep tissue imaging agents. We present a detailed discussion of the biodistribution and toxicity of quantum dots, and highlight recent advances to improve long-term stability in biological buffers, increase quantum yield following bioconjugation, and improve clearance from the body. Last, we present an outlook on future challenges and strategies to further advance translation to clinical application.
Keywords: bioimaging, nanotechnology, theranostics, drug delivery, molecular sensors
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