Quantum dots as contrast agents for in vivo tumor imaging: progress and issues

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011 Mar;399(7):2331-42. doi: 10.1007/s00216-010-4010-3. Epub 2010 Jul 25.


Quantum dots (QDs) have shown promise as imaging agents in cancer, heart disease, and gene therapy research. This review focuses on the design of QDs, and modification using peptides and proteins for mediated targeting of tissues for fluorescence imaging of tumors in vivo. Recent examples from the literature are used to illustrate the potential of QDs as effective imaging agents. The distribution and ultimate fate of QDs in vivo is considered, and considerations of designs that minimize potential toxicity are presented.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Media / chemistry*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine / methods*
  • Nanomedicine / trends
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Particle Size
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Quantum Dots*


  • Contrast Media
  • Peptides
  • Proteins