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Cadmium-Free CuInS2/ZnS Quantum Dots for Sentinel Lymph Node Imaging with Reduced Toxicity

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Laboratoire Physique et Etude des Matériaux, CNRS UPR0005, ESPCI, 10, rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris, France
Centre de Recherche en Automatique de Nancy, Nancy-University, CNRS, Centre Alexis Vautrin, avenue de Bourgogne, 54511 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France
§ Laboratoire de physico-chimie des Polymères et des Milieux Dispersés, CNRS UMR7615, ESPCI, 10, rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris, France
* Address correspondence to [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Nano 2010, 4, 5, 2531–2538
Publication Date (Web):April 13, 2010
Copyright © 2010 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) could significantly impact the performance of biomedical near-infrared (NIR) imaging by providing fluorescent probes that are brighter and more photostable than conventional organic dyes. However, the toxicity of the components of NIR emitting II−VI and IV−VI QDs that have been made so far (Cd, Hg, Te, Pb, etc.) has remained a major obstacle to the clinical use of QDs. Here, we present the synthesis of CuInS2/ZnS core/shell QDs emitting in the NIR (∼800 nm) with good quantum yield and stability even after transfer into water. We demonstrate the potential of these QDs by imaging two regional lymph nodes (LNs) in vivo in mice. We then compare the inflammatory response of the axillary LN induced by different doses of CuInS2/ZnS and CdTeSe/CdZnS QDs and show a clear difference in acute local toxicity, the onset of inflammation only occurring at a 10 times more concentrated dose for CuInS2/ZnS QDs than for their Cd-containing counterparts.

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    XRD patterns, elemental analysis, additional NIR imaging, lymph node uptake quantification, EDX analysis, X-ray diffraction, photostability, additional NIR fluorescence imaging, quantification of CuInS2/ZnS QD % ID in the regional LNs. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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