Taking exposure into consideration the unwanted contact of humans to quantum dots may happen most important at the work place. During the production of the quantum dots, workers may be exposed via inhalation (although quantum dots normally don’t stay in the air), but also via ingestion or also skin contact can take place. A direct exposure during diagnostic or therapeutic treatment is most likely and may occur via intravenous injection.


Due to their extraordinary optical properties, quantum dots have many advantages over the use of organic fluorescent dyes. They are primarily qualified for biological labelling methods or applications in clinical diagnostics [1]. Moreover, specific drugs or other target molecules (e.g. antibodies or peptides) can be attached to the surfaces of quantum dots. With such a vehicle drugs may be targeted very specifically to certain cells and tissues to act there directly [2,3]. Such an effect can be achieved only after intravenous injection. Several studies investigated distribution, excretion, metabolism and toxicity of quantum dots after this form of application [3-8]. Furthermore, skin penetration [8-11] and the behaviour of quantum dots within the gastrointestinal tract after swallowing have been analysed [12].


Literature arrow down

  1. Guo, GN et al. (2007), Materials Letters, 61(8-9): 1641-1644.
  2. Maysinger, D et al. (2007), Eur J Pharm Biopharm, 65(3): 270-281.
  3. Yang, RS et al. (2007), Environ Health Perspect, 115(9): 1339-1343.
  4. Akerman, ME et al. (2002), PNAS, 99(20): 12617-12621.
  5. Fischer, HC et al. (2006), Adv Funct Materials, 16(10): 1299-1305.
  6. Hardman, R (2006), Environ Health Perspect, 114(2): 165-172.
  7. Choi, HS et al. (2007), Nat Biotechnol, 25(10): 1165-1170.
  8. Bottrill, M et al. (2011), Chem Commun (Camb), 47(25): 7039-7050.
  9. Lee, HA et al. (2007), Nano Lett, 7(9): 2865-2870.
  10. Mortensen, LJ et al. (2008), Nano Lett, 8(9): 2779-2787.
  11. Zhang, LW et al. (2008), Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 228(2): 200-211.
  12. Loginova, YF et al. (2012), Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 419(1): 54-59.



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