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Biocompatible Polymer/Quantum Dots Hybrid Materials: Current Status and Future Developments
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712, USA
Received: 6 October 2011; in revised form: 23 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 November 2011 / Published: 2 December 2011
Abstract: Quantum dots (QDs) are nanometer-sized semiconductor particles with tunable fluorescent optical property that can be adjusted by their chemical composition, size, or shape. In the past 10 years, they have been demonstrated as a powerful fluorescence tool for biological and biomedical applications, such as diagnostics, biosensing and biolabeling. QDs with high fluorescence quantum yield and optical stability are usually synthesized in organic solvents. In aqueous solution, however, their metallic toxicity, non-dissolubility and photo-luminescence instability prevent the direct utility of QDs in biological media. Polymers are widely used to cover and coat QDs for fabricating biocompatible QDs. Such hybrid materials can provide solubility and robust colloidal and optical stability in water. At the same time, polymers can carry ionic or reactive functional groups for incorporation into the end-use application of QDs, such as receptor targeting and cell attachment. This review provides an overview of the recent development of methods for generating biocompatible polymer/QDs hybrid materials with desirable properties. Polymers with different architectures, such as homo- and co-polymer, hyperbranched polymer, and polymeric nanogel, have been used to anchor and protect QDs. The resulted biocompatible polymer/QDs hybrid materials show successful applications in the fields of bioimaging and biosensing. While considerable progress has been made in the design of biocompatible polymer/QDs materials, the research challenges and future developments in this area should affect the technologies of biomaterials and biosensors and result in even better biocompatible polymer/QDs hybrid materials.
Keywords: polymer; quantum dots (QDs); biocompatible
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Shen, L. Biocompatible Polymer/Quantum Dots Hybrid Materials: Current Status and Future Developments. J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2, 355-372.
Shen L. Biocompatible Polymer/Quantum Dots Hybrid Materials: Current Status and Future Developments. Journal of Functional Biomaterials. 2011; 2(4):355-372.
Shen, Lei. 2011. "Biocompatible Polymer/Quantum Dots Hybrid Materials: Current Status and Future Developments." J. Funct. Biomater. 2, no. 4: 355-372.