Imaging and inhibition of multi-drug resistance in cancer cells via specific association with negatively charged CdTe quantum dots

Biomaterials. 2010 Jun;31(18):4958-63. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.02.053. Epub 2010 Mar 25.


Photoluminescent semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have received significant attention in biological and biomedical fields because of their attractive properties. In this contribution, we have explored and evaluated the utilization of water-soluble nanocrystal CdTe quantum dots (QDs) capped with negatively charged 3-mercapitalpropionic acid (MPA)-QDs to enhance the drug uptake into the target cancer cells and the efficiency of the biomarker and cancer treatments, by using the cytotoxicity evaluation, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, electrochemistry and UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy. Our results illustrate that the MPA-CdTe QDs could effectively facilitate the interaction of anticancer agent daunorubicin (DNR) with leukemia cells and the efficiency of biolabeling in cancer cells. Therefore, the present study affords a new potential method for simultaneous cellular inhibition and imaging of cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Cadmium Compounds / chemistry*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Daunorubicin / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / diagnosis*
  • Leukemia / drug therapy*
  • Quantum Dots*
  • Tellurium / chemistry*


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Cadmium Compounds
  • Tellurium
  • cadmium telluride
  • Daunorubicin