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Proceedings Paper

The toxicity and clearance of copper indium sulfide quantum dots in vivo (Conference Presentation)

Paper Abstract

For the first time, we assess the biodistribution and toxicity of unshelled CIS and partially zinc-alloyed CISZ QDs in a murine model at 1-day, 7-day, and 1-month timepoints. We show that bare CIS QDs breakdown quickly, with >75% of the initial dose being cleared by 1-month. Surprisingly, we also demonstrate a significant toxic response to these QDs as measured by organ weight, blood chemistry, and histology. Specifically, low doses of CIS particles (15mg/kg) induce severe hepatotoxicity and splenotoxicity. Similarly, CISZ demonstrated significant, but lower, toxicity compared to bare CIS. Overall, our data suggests that reconsideration of CIS as a translatable QD system is required: degradation-based toxicity is an important aspect of biocompatibility that needs to be assessed in “non-toxic” QDs, if QDs are to ever be clinically successful. Finally, we suggest a non-toxic biodegradable alternative.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 March 2020
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Proc. SPIE 11256, Reporters, Markers, Dyes, Nanoparticles, and Molecular Probes for Biomedical Applications XII, 112560B (10 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2546747
Show Author Affiliations
Joshua Kays, Boston Univ. (United States)
Alexander M. Saeboe, Boston Univ. (United States)
Reyhaneh Toufanian, Boston Univ. (United States)
Allison M. Dennis, Boston Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11256:
Reporters, Markers, Dyes, Nanoparticles, and Molecular Probes for Biomedical Applications XII
Samuel Achilefu; Ramesh Raghavachari, Editor(s)

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