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Cytotoxicity Tests of Water Soluble ZnS and CdS Quantum Dots

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Cytotoxicity tests of zinc sulfide (ZnS) and cadmium sulfide (CdS) quantum dots (QDs) synthesized via all-aqueous process with various surface conditions were carried out with human endothelial cells (EA hy926) using two independent viability assays, i.e., by cell counting following Trypan blue staining and by measuring Alamar Blue (AB) fluorescence. The ZnS QDs with all four distinct types of surface conditions were nontoxic at both 1 M and 10 M concentrations for at least 6 days. On the other hand, the CdS QDs were nontoxic only at 1 M, and showed significant cytotoxicity at 10 M after 3 days in the cell counting assay and after 4 days in the AB fluorescence assay. The CdS QDs with (3-mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane (MPS)-replacement plus silica capping were less cytotoxic than those with 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) capping and those with MPS-replacement capping. Comparing the results of ZnS and CdS QDs with the same particle size, surface condition and concentration, it is indicated that the cytotoxicity of CdS QDs and the lack of it in ZnS QDs were probably due to the presence and absence of the toxic Cd element, respectively. The nontoxicity of the aqueous ZnS QDs makes them favorable for in vivo imaging applications.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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