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A toxicologic review of quantum dots : toxicity depends on physicochemical and environmental factors


By csep - Posted on 30 July 2010

TitleA toxicologic review of quantum dots : toxicity depends on physicochemical and environmental factors
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsHardman, Ron
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume114
Start Page165
Issue2
Pagination165-172
Date Published02/2006
Publication LanguageEnglish
Abstract

This article reviews some studies that have been done on the potential toxicity of quantum dots. Quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals with unique optical and electrical properties that are often currently used in biomedical imaging and the electronics industry. Quantum dots offer many societal benefits, such as their use in drug targeting and in in vivo imaging, but they also may potentially pose some risks to human health and the environment under certain conditions. This literature review found that engineered quantum dots could not be considered a uniform group of substances, and that the potential toxicity of different types of quantum dots is derived from a number of factors, including size, charge, concentration, outer coating,as well as oxidative, photolytic, and mechanical stability. Though much more research on the toxicity of individuals types of quantum dots is called for, the findings of this review suggests that under certain conditions, quantum dots may pose environmental and human health risks as determined by rodent animal models and in vitro cell cultures.