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Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(12):11736-51. doi: 10.3390/s111211736. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Semiconductor quantum dots for biomedicial applications.

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  • 1Jiangsu Affiliated Cancer Hospital with Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Prevention and Cure, Nanjing 210009, China.


Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are nanometre-scale crystals, which have unique photophysical properties, such as size-dependent optical properties, high fluorescence quantum yields, and excellent stability against photobleaching. These properties enable QDs as the promising optical labels for the biological applications, such as multiplexed analysis of immunocomplexes or DNA hybridization processes, cell sorting and tracing, in vivo imaging and diagnostics in biomedicine. Meanwhile, QDs can be used as labels for the electrochemical detection of DNA or proteins. This article reviews the synthesis and toxicity of QDs and their optical and electrochemical bioanalytical applications. Especially the application of QDs in biomedicine such as delivering, cell targeting and imaging for cancer research, and in vivo photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer are briefly discussed.


bioanalysis; cell imaging; photodynamic therapy; quantum dots; toxicology delivery

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