Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
ADME Tox
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Good News for Nanomedicine

Published: Monday, May 21, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, May 21, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Quantum dots appear safe in pioneering study on primates.

Medical uses for quantum dots -- tiny luminescent crystals -- could include image-guided surgery, light-activated therapies and sensitive diagnostic tests.

A pioneering study to gauge the toxicity of quantum dots in primates has found the tiny crystals to be safe over a one-year period, a hopeful outcome for doctors and scientists seeking new ways to battle diseases like cancer through nanomedicine.

The research, which will appear on May 20 in Nature Nanotechnology online, is likely the first to test the safety of quantum dots in primates. The study and information in this press release are embargoed until Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 1 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

In the study, scientists found that four rhesus monkeys injected with cadmium-selenide quantum dots remained in normal health over 90 days. Blood and biochemical markers stayed in typical ranges, and major organs developed no abnormalities. The animals didn't lose weight.

Two monkeys observed for an additional year also showed no signs of illness.

Quantum dots are tiny luminescent crystals that glow brightly in different colors. Medical researchers are eyeing the crystals for use in image-guided surgery, light-activated therapies and sensitive diagnostic tests. Cadmium selenide quantum dots are among the most studied, with potential applications not only in medicine, but as components of solar cells, quantum computers, light-emitting diodes and more.

The new toxicity study -- completed by the University at Buffalo, the Chinese PLA General Hospital, China's ChangChun University of Science and Technology, and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University -- begins to address the concern of health professionals who worry that quantum dots may be dangerous to humans.

The authors caution, however, that more research is needed to determine the nanocrystals' long-term effects in primates; most of the potentially toxic cadmium from the quantum dots stayed in the liver, spleen and kidneys of the animals studied over the 90-day period.

"This is the first study that uses primates as animal models for in vivo studies with quantum dots," said paper coauthor Paras Prasad, UB professor of chemistry and medicine, and executive director of UB's Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB). "So far, such toxicity studies have focused only on mice and rats, but humans are very different from mice. More studies using animal models that are closer to humans are necessary."

The cadmium build-up, in particular, is a serious concern that warrants further investigation, said Ken-Tye Yong, a Nanyang Technological University assistant professor who began working with Prasad on the study as a postdoctoral researcher at UB.

Because of that concern, the best in-vivo applications for cadmium-selenide quantum dots in medicine may be the ones that use the crystals in a limited capacity, said Mark Swihart, a third coauthor and a UB professor of chemical and biological engineering. Image-guided surgery, which could involve a single dose of quantum dots to identify a tumor or other target area, falls into this category.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
The Rise of 3D Cell Culture and in vitro Model Systems for Drug Discovery and Toxicology
An overview of the current technology and the challenges and benefits over 2D cell culture models plus some of the latest advances relating to human health research.
Breakthrough Approach to Breast Cancer Treatment
Scripps scientists have designed a drug candidate that decreases growth of breast cancer cells.
Non-Toxic Approach to Treating Variety of Cancers
A team of researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine recently discovered a novel, non-toxic approach to treating a wide variety of cancers.
Making Injectable Medicine Safer
Researchers remove excess additives from drugs, which could reduce the odds of serious allergic reactions and other side effects.
An Old-New Weapon Against Emerging Chikungunya Virus
Researchers utilize existing drugs to interfere with host factors required for replication of Chikungunya virus.
Brazilian Zika Virus Strain Causes Birth Defects in Experimental Models
First direct experimental proof of causal effect, researchers say.
'Kidney on a Chip' Facilitates Safer Drug Dosing
University of Michigan researchers have used a "kidney on a chip" device to mimic the flow of medication through human kidneys and measure its effect on kidney cells.
Ketamine Metabolism Lifts Depression
NIH-funded team finds rapid-acting, non-addicting agent in mouse study.
Turning Skin Cells into Heart, Brain Cells
In a major breakthrough, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes transformed skin cells into heart cells and brain cells using a combination of chemicals.
Growing Stem Cells More Safely
Nurturing stem cells atop a bed of mouse cells works well, but is a non-starter for transplants to patients – Brown University scientists are developing a synthetic bed instead.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!