Quantum Dots For Diagnosis Of Cancers

Pragati Malik, Sunita Gulia, Rita Kakkar*

Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India

Adv. Mater. Lett., 2013, 4 (11), pp 811-822

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2013.3437

Publication Date (Web): Nov 02, 2013

E-mail: rkakkar@chemistry.du.ac.in


The most widely researched and investigated disease, both medically and scientifically, in the current era is the formidable disease cancer. The chances of successful treatment and hence the curability increases if it is diagnosed at an early stage. This can be done only by increasing awareness amongst people about its early diagnosis and screening tests. Cancer screening exams refers to the medical tests to identify people who have disease, often before symptoms of the illness occur. These tests help detecting cancer at its earliest stage when the chances for curing the disease are greatest. Advancements in nanotechnology have made the early screening of cancer possible. In this review, we have discussed the developments in nanotechnology that have encouraged the more recent innovative solutions for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Quantum dots, nanometer-sized semiconductors, are the new class of novel biosensors, now being exclusively employed as alternative fluorescent probes due to their unique properties, such as intense and stable fluorescence for a longer time, resistance to photobleaching, large molar extinction coefficients, and highly sensitive detection, due to their ability to absorb and emit light very efficiently. Their size approximates that of individual biomolecules, which offers unique possibilities for the ultrasensitive detection of cancer in persons’ serum, tissues, and other body fluids, when tagged with specific antibodies against specific tumor markers. In this review, we have account briefly the applications of semiconductor QDs employed for the early screening and diagnosis of cancer biomarkers between the years 2009-2012. We believe that this review will enable workers in the field to devise new applications of these materials for the early detection of cancer, and ultimate reduction in incidence of the disease.


Biomarkers, cancer, core/shell, detection, diagnosis, imaging, quantum dots, targeting, therapy.

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