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Issue 74, 2015
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Thermal decomposition based synthesis of Ag-In-S/ZnS quantum dots and their chlorotoxin-modified micelles for brain tumor cell targeting

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Abstract

Cadmium-free silver-indium-sulfide (Ag-In-S or AIS) chalcopyrite quantum dots (QDs) as well as their core–shell structures (AIS/ZnS QDs) are being paid significant attention in biomedical applications because of their low toxicity and excellent optical properties. Here we report a simple and safe synthetic system to prepare high quality AIS and AIS/ZnS QDs using thermal decomposition. The synthetic system simply involves heating a mixture of silver acetate, indium acetate, and oleic acid in dodecanethiol at 170 °C to produce AIS QDs with a 13% quantum yield (QY). After ZnS shell growth, the produced AIS/ZnS QDs achieve a 41% QY. To facilitate phase transfer and bioconjugation of AIS/ZnS QDs for cellular imaging, these QDs were loaded into the core of PLGA–PEG (5kDa : 5kDa) based micelles to form AIS/ZnS QD-micelles. Cellular imaging studies showed that chlorotoxin-conjugated QD-micelles can be specifically internalized into U-87 brain tumor cells. This work discloses that the scalable synthesis of AIS/ZnS QDs and the facile surface/interface chemistry for phase transfer and bioconjugation of these QDs may open an avenue for the produced QD-micelles to be applied to the detection of endogenous targets expressed on brain tumor cells, or more broadly to cell- or tissue-based diagnosis and therapy.

Graphical abstract: Thermal decomposition based synthesis of Ag-In-S/ZnS quantum dots and their chlorotoxin-modified micelles for brain tumor cell targeting

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Jun 2015, accepted on 07 Jul 2015 and first published on 08 Jul 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA11250H
Citation: RSC Adv., 2015,5, 60612-60620
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    Thermal decomposition based synthesis of Ag-In-S/ZnS quantum dots and their chlorotoxin-modified micelles for brain tumor cell targeting

    S. Chen, M. Ahmadiantehrani, N. G. Publicover, K. W. Hunter and X. Zhu, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 60612
    DOI: 10.1039/C5RA11250H

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