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Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1243-1254; doi:10.3390/polym3031243
Article

Evaluation of the Biological Effects of Externally Tunable, Hydrogel Encapsulated Quantum Dot Nanospheres in Escherichia coli

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1 Department of Biology, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX 76204, USA 2 Department of Physics, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203, USA 3 Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA 4 Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2011 / Revised: 20 July 2011 / Accepted: 29 July 2011 / Published: 8 August 2011
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Abstract

Quantum Dots (QDs) have become an interesting subject of study for labeling and drug delivery in biomedical research due to their unique responses to external stimuli. In this paper, the biological effects of a novel hydrogel based QD nano-structure on E. coli bacteria are presented. The experimental evidence reveals that cadmium telluride (CdTe) QDs that are encapsulated inside biocompatible polymeric shells have reduced or negligible toxicity to this model cell system, even when exposed at higher dosages. Furthermore, a preliminary gene expression study indicates that QD-hydrogel nanospheres do not inhibit the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) gene expression. As the biocompatible and externally tunable polymer shells possess the capability to control the QD packing density at nanometer scales, the resulting luminescence efficiency of the nanostructures, besides reducing the cytotoxic potential, may be suitable for various biomedical applications.
Keywords: quantum dots; cytotoxicity; hydrogel; drug delivery, temperature responsive quantum dots; cytotoxicity; hydrogel; drug delivery, temperature responsive
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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GhoshMitra, S.; Cai, T.; Diercks, D.; Hu, Z.; Roberts, J.; Dahiya, J.; Mills, N.; Hynds, D.; Ghosh, S. Evaluation of the Biological Effects of Externally Tunable, Hydrogel Encapsulated Quantum Dot Nanospheres in Escherichia coli. Polymers 2011, 3, 1243-1254.

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