Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, Vol 16, No 11 (2016)

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Cadmium-containing Quantum Dots: Current Perspectives on Their Application as Nanomedicine and Toxicity Concerns

Dr. Rutao Liu

Abstract


With unique optical properties and versatile surface chemistry, cadmium-containing quantum dots (Cd-QDs) have attracted extensive attention for drug delivery as applied to the field of biomedicine. However, Cd-QDs-based in vivo applications are currently restricted in cells and small animals due to their uncertain biological fate and potential toxicity. Consequently, the long-term fate of Cd-QDs and their interaction with biological systems needs to be explored for advancing Cd-QDs towards clinical applications as nanomedicines. This review succinctly described recent progress in functionalized Cd-QDs for the design as multifunctional drug delivery system and advanced findings on the interactions of Cd-QDs with biological systems at the level of living systems, cells and biomacromolecule, providing suggestions to improve the delivery performance and biocompatibility of Cd-QDs as well as better understanding the potential side effects of Cd-QDs in in vivo applications. In addition, focus was placed on exploring the similarities and discrepancy of their toxicological results at the three levels to comprehensively interpret the potential carcinogenicity of Cd-QDs and deeply understand the associated mechanism.

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