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Quantum Dots: An investigation into how differing surface characteristics affect their interaction with macrophages in vitro

Clift, Martin James David


Martin James David Clift


Quantum dots (QDs) are potentially advantageous tools for both diagnostics and therapeutics due to their light emitting characteristics. The impact of QDs on biological systems however, is not fully understood. The aim of this project therefore, was to investigate the interaction of a series of different surface modifies QDs with macrophages and their subsequent toxicity. CdTe/CdSe (core), ZnS (shell) QDs with either an organic, COOH or NH2 polyethylene glycol (PEG) surface coatings were used. Fluorescent COOH polystyrene beads (PBs) at (Ø) 20nm and 200nm were also studied. J774.A1 murine ‘macrophage-like’ cells were treated for two hours with QDs (40nM) of PBs ($50μ^{-1}$) in the presence of 10% FCS prior to assessment of cellular uptake via confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. COOH and $NH_{2}$ (PEG) QDs, as well as 20nm and 200nm PBs entered macrophages within 30 minutes, and were found to locate within endosomes, lysosomes and the mitochondria. T.E.M. also illustrated particles, including organic QDs, to be present inside J774.A1 cells within membrane- bound vesicles at two hours. Organic QDs were unable to be visualised via fixed cell confocal microscopy. Live cell confocal microscopy (without 10% FCS) did suggest however, that organic QDs entered cells in low quantities up to 30 minutes, after which fluorescence declined. Particle toxicity was determined over 48 hours via the MTT, LDH and GSH assays, as well as via assessment of their potential to produce the pro-inflammatory cytokine (TNF-α) and effect cytosolic $Ca^{2+}$ signalling in the J774.A1 cells. Organic QDs were found to be highly toxic at all time points and concentrations used. Both COOH and $NH_{2 }$ (PEG) QDs induced significant (p

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 29, 2009
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Quantum dots; Cd/Te; Cd/Se; ZnS; Polyethylene glycol coatings; Polystyrene beads; Interaction with substrate; Uptake; Toxicity; Macrophages;
Public URL
Contract Date Apr 29, 2009
Award Date 2009-03


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