Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Quantum Dots May Be Safe to Use in Patients

The colorful, glowing crystals could prove to be useful as a surgical aid.

Four rhesus monkeys injected with tiny luminescent crystals called quantum dots showed no signs of ill effects over a one-year period, according to a study just published in Nature Nanotechnology. 

Previously, researchers had found conflicting results when they looked at the safety of quantum dots—the crystals had toxic side-effects in cell cultures but not in rodents and other small animals.

Quantum dots are inorganic nanoscale crystals that emit different colored light depending on their size. They glow brighter and for longer periods of time than many other fluorescent molecules. Researchers are currently exploring a variety of uses for quantum dots, from the light-emitting diodes of electronic displays, to the light-absorbing layer of solar cells, and as medical tracers of brain tumor cells.

Although the non-human primates in the study did not exhibit any signs of illness in response to the quantum dots, a heavy metal component of the crystals (cadmium) did build up in the primates’ liver, spleen and kidneys after 90 days. This concerning build up requires further investigation and may mean that the best use of quantum dots in people will be single-dose applications such as an injection of the luminescent dye to identify a tumor for surgical removal, said the researchers in a release

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Investing in people is key to successful transformation

People-related factors like talent attraction and retention and clear top-down communication will determine whether your transformation progresses or stalls.

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

The way forward: Merging IT and operations

Digital transformation in any industry begins with bridging the gap between two traditionally separate teams.

be a good example concept
be a good example concept

Be a good example

"It was in the newspaper, but the towers fell the next day, and what I’d done was quickly lost."

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.