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NIR-quantum dots in biomedical imaging and their future

Gil, Hélio M.; Price, Thomas W.; Chelani, Kanik; Bouillard, Jean Sebastien G.; Calaminus, Simon D.J.; Stasiuk, Graeme J.


Hélio M. Gil

Thomas W. Price

Kanik Chelani

Simon D.J. Calaminus

Graeme J. Stasiuk


Fluorescence imaging has gathered interest over the recent years for its real-time response and high sensitivity. Developing probes for this modality has proven to be a challenge. Quantum dots (QDs) are colloidal nanoparticles that possess unique optical and electronic properties due to quantum confinement effects, whose excellent optical properties make them ideal for fluorescence imaging of biological systems. By selectively controlling the synthetic methodologies it is possible to obtain QDs that emit in the first (650–950 nm) and second (1000–1400 nm) near infra-red (NIR) windows, allowing for superior imaging properties. Despite the excellent optical properties and biocompatibility shown by some NIR QDs, there are still some challenges to overcome to enable there use in clinical applications. In this review, we discuss the latest advances in the application of NIR QDs in preclinical settings, together with the synthetic approaches and material developments that make NIR QDs promising for future biomedical applications.


Gil, H. M., Price, T. W., Chelani, K., Bouillard, J. S. G., Calaminus, S. D., & Stasiuk, G. J. (2021). NIR-quantum dots in biomedical imaging and their future. iScience, 24(3), Article 102189.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Dec 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Feb 14, 2021
Publication Date Mar 19, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 31, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal iScience
Print ISSN 2589-0042
Electronic ISSN 2589-0042
Publisher Cell Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 3
Article Number 102189
Keywords Optical Materials; Biomedical Engineering; Engineering; Materials Science; Materials Chemistry
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