Using Quantum Dots for In Vivo Tumor Targeted Imaging in Mice

Physical and Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Lecturer: Alyssa Kostadinov, Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, group of Prof. Efrat Lifshitz

11-11 Apr 2021 @ 12:30

Location: Join Zoom Meeting at

Quantum dots (QDs) are nanometric sized semiconductor crystals which have been found as interesting materials in different areas of science such as solar cells, lasers, LED technologies, quantum information and quantum computing. In recent years, QDs retain a great reputation in the fields of biology and medicine and are currently used in anticancer applications, drug delivery and biological imaging and diagnostics, such as stem cell tracking and pathogen and toxin detection. Moreover, they are greatly investigated in the field of non- invasive in- vivo animal imaging1.
The advantages of using QDs in cancer imaging is their ability to recognize cancer tissue, enabling visualization of tumors2. For this application, high tumor specificity, tumor penetration and fast renal clearance of the metal ions released from the QDs is essential3,4. A new nano-system which allows selective background quenching to gain exceptionally tumor specific signals is introduced. The system uses NIR QDs and membrane impenetrable etchant that rapidly quenches the QDs through a cation exchange reaction. Intravenously delivered QDs into breast and pancreas tumors in mice are etched, leaving highly tumor- specific signal provided by the intact QDs in the extravascular tumor cells.

1. Kargozar, S. et al. Quantum Dots: A Review from Concept to Clinic. Biotechnology Journal vol. 15 (2020).
2. Barreto, J. A. et al. Nanomaterials: Applications in cancer imaging and therapy. Adv. Mater. 23, H18–H40 (2011).
3. Liu, X., Braun, G. B., Qin, M., Ruoslahti, E. & Sugahara, K. N. In vivo cation exchange in quantum dots for tumor-specific imaging. Nat. Commun. 8, (2017).
4. Choi, H. S. et al. Design considerations for tumour-targeted nanoparticles. Nat. Nanotechnol. 5, 42–47 (2010).