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Quantum Dots for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

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.

Quantum Dots for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy
Quantum Dots for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy 

Imaging is an important clinical modality used in determining appropriate cancer therapy. Current imaging techniques, including x-ray, computed tomography, ultrasound, radionuclide imaging and MRI, have been used widely for cancer screening and staging, determining the efficacy of cancer therapy and monitoring recurrence (reviewed in).However, current imaging techniques have two major limitations. First, they do not have sufficient sensitivity to detect small numbers of malignant cells in the primary or metastatic sites. Second, the imaging techniques have not been developed to detect specific cancer cell-surface markers. In many instances, these cell-surface markers might be targets for cancer therapy and might assist in the diagnosis and staging of cancer. These limitations demand improvement in current imaging techniques and the development of new imaging probes that are highly sensitive and biospecific. Quantum dot (QD) imaging probes, although still in the early development stage, provide the potential to fulfill these requirements for in vivo cancer imaging.

Bioconjugation Quantum Dots are among the most promising items in the nanomedicine toolbox. These nanocrystal fluorophores have several potential medical applications including nanodiagnostics, imaging, targeted drug delivery, and photodynamic therapy. The diverse potential applications of Bioconjugation Quantum Dots are attributed to their unique optical properties including broad-range excitation, size-tunable narrow emission spectra, and high photostability.

The Drug delivery quantum dots nanocrystals fluoresce when excited by a light source, emitting bright colors that can identify and track properties and processes in various biological applications. They have significant advantages over traditional fluorophores as they can be predictably tuned according to their size, shape and intrinsic solid-state properties. Their flexibility means it has applications in cell biology, drug discovery, cancer research and other fields.

Millions of people die from cancer every year, especially from lung cancer. Even though no existing method can defeat cancer, tumor therapies such as surgery, Quantum Dots Cancer Therapy tiny light-emitting particles on nanometer scale, are new type of fluorescent probes for molecular and cellular imaging. Compared with organic dyes and fluorescent proteins, Quantum Dots Cancer Therapy have unique optical and electronic properties in cellular imaging: Wavelength-tunable emission, improved brightness of signal, resistance against photobleaching, etc. Such preponderant optical properties were not realized until the QD-based probes are equipped with war heads targeting tumor.


Quantum Dots for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy
Quantum Dots for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy  


Quantum Dots Cancer Therapy coated with urea or acetate groups might stain the nucleus. InP/ZnS QDs conjugated with anti-human PCNA antibody to label PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigens) in breast cancer tissues. Labeling nuclear antigens in tumor cells with Quantum Dots Cancer Therapy-conjugated bioprobes offers people with useful and reliable information for biomedical analysis and cancer diagnosis.


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