Quantum dots and multifunctional nanoparticles: New contrast agents for tumor imaging

Matthew N. Rhyner, Andrew M. Smith, Xiaohu Goo, Hui Mao, Lily Yang, Shuming Nie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Nanometer-sized particles, such as semiconductor quantum dots and iron oxide nanocrystals, have novel optical, electronic, magnetic or structural properties that are not available from either molecules or bulk solids. When linked with tumor-targeting ligands, such as monoclonal antibodies, peptide fragments of tumor-specific proteins or small molecules, these nanoparticles can be used to target tumor antigens (biomarkers) and tumor vasculatures with high affinity and specificity. In the mesoscopic size range of 5-100 nm diameter, quantum dots and related nanoparticles have large surface areas and functional groups that can be linked to multiple diagnostic (e.g., optical, radioisotopic or magnetic) and therapeutic (e.g., anticancer) agents. In this review, recent advances in the development and applications of bioconjugated quantum dots and multifunctional nanoparticles for in vivo tumor imaging and targeting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Contrast agents
  • Fluorescence
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Nanoparticles
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Quantum dots
  • Tumor imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Development
  • Medicine(all)


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