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Carbon Dots as Antioxidants and Prooxidants

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In this study we report the effect of classical CdSe/ZnS quantum dots and novel spherical carbon dots on generation of singlet oxygen and other reactive oxygen species (ROS) in aqueous solutions in vitro. Free radicals were initiated either chemically using 2,2′-azodiisobutyramidine dihydrochloride (AAPH) or by radiation with a blue light source emitting 390–470 nm (peak 420 nm). Two reagents, dihydrorhodamine 123 (Dhr123) and singlet oxygen sensor green (SOSG), were used as radical probes. Quantum dots and carbon dots inhibited oxidation of the radical probes under decomposition of AAPH. However, when subjected to the blue light both the quantum dots and carbon dots induced oxidation of Dhr123 to a greater extent than SOSG in water. Generation of singlet oxygen was remarkably enhanced in deuterium oxide solutions while oxidation of Dhr123 remained unchanged. For comparison, traditional photosensitizer protoporphyrin IX mainly induced oxidation of SOSG in water. In conclusion, upon external radiation carbon dots or quantum dots generate reactive oxygen species acting as prooxidants. Carbon dots or quantum dots also scavenge free radicals that are generated chemically by an azo compound. Such dual properties of these nanoparticles can be used for photodynamic and photocatalytic or antioxidant applications.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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