Quantum dots for cancer diagnosis and therapy: Biological and clinical perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Quantum dots (QDs) are semiconductor nanocrystals that emit fluorescence on excitation with a light source. They have excellent optical properties, including high brightness, resistance to photobleaching and tunable wavelength. Recent developments in surface modification of QDs enable their potential application in cancer imaging. QDs with near-infrared emission could be applied to sentinel lymph-node mapping to aid biopsy and surgery. Conjugation of QDs with biomolecules, including peptides and antibodies, could be used to target tumors in vivo. In this review, we summarize recent progress in developing QDs for cancer diagnosis and treatment from a clinical standpoint and discuss future prospects of further improving QD technology to identify metastatic cancer cells, quantitatively measure the level of specific molecular targets and guide targeted cancer therapy by providing biodynamic markers for target inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Bioconjugation
  • Cancer
  • Metastasis
  • Quantum dots
  • Sentinel lymph nodes
  • Targeted therapy


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