Quantum dots (QDs) are one of emerging engineering nanomaterials (NMs) with advantageous properties which can act as candidates for clinical imaging and diagnosis. Nevertheless, toxicological studies have proved that QDs for better or worse pose threats to diverse systems which are attributed to the release of metal ion and specific characteristics of nanoparticles (NPs), hampering the wide use of QDs to biomedical area. It has been postulated that mechanisms of toxicity evoked by QDs have implications in oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species (ROS), inflammation and release of metal ion. Meanwhile, DNA damage and disturbance of subcellular structures would occur during QDs treatment. This review is intended to conclude the cytotoxicity of QDs in multiple systems, as well as the potential mechanisms on the basis of recent literatures. Finally, toxicity-related factors are clarified, among which chirality seems to be a newly proposed influence factor that determines the destiny of cells in response to QDs. However, details of interaction between QDs and cells have not been well elucidated. Given that molecular mechanisms of QDs-induced toxicity are still not clearly elucidated, further research should be required for this meaningful topic.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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