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Toxicol Sci. 2009 Dec;112(2):276-96. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfp188. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

State of academic knowledge on toxicity and biological fate of quantum dots.

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  • 1Regulatory Governance Initiative, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S5B6, Canada.


Quantum dots (QDs), an important class of emerging nanomaterial, are widely anticipated to find application in many consumer and clinical products in the near future. Premarket regulatory scrutiny is, thus, an issue gaining considerable attention. Previous review papers have focused primarily on the toxicity of QDs. From the point of view of product regulation, however, parameters that determine exposure (e.g., dosage, transformation, transportation, and persistence) are just as important as inherent toxicity. We have structured our review paper according to regulatory risk assessment practices, in order to improve the utility of existing knowledge in a regulatory context. Herein, we summarize the state of academic knowledge on QDs pertaining not only to toxicity, but also their physicochemical properties, and their biological and environmental fate. We conclude this review with recommendations on how to tailor future research efforts to address the specific needs of regulators.

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