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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 76087, 10 pages
Review Article

Clinical Potential of Quantum Dots

1Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Centre, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
2Academic Division of Surgical and Interventional Sciences, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
3Department of Surgery, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust Hospital, London NW3 2QG, UK
4Advanced Nanomaterials Laboratory, BTEC, University College London, London NW3 2PF, UK

Received 12 March 2007; Revised 27 July 2007; Accepted 13 December 2007

Academic Editor: Marek Osinski

Copyright © 2007 Arthur M. Iga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Advances in nanotechnology have led to the development of novel fluorescent probes called quantum dots. Quantum dots have revolutionalized the processes of tagging molecules within research settings and are improving sentinel lymph node mapping and identification in vivo studies. As the unique physical and chemical properties of these fluorescent probes are being unraveled, new potential methods of early cancer detection, rapid spread and therapeutic management, that is, photodynamic therapy are being explored. Encouraging results of optical and real time identification of sentinel lymph nodes and lymph flow using quantum dots in vivo models are emerging. Quantum dots have also superseded many of the limitations of organic fluorophores and are a promising alternative as a research tool. In this review, we examine the promising clinical potential of quantum dots, their hindrances for clinical use and the current progress in abrogating their inherent toxicity.