Quantum dots – Exposure

Taking exposure into consideration the unwanted contact of humans to quantum dots may happen most important at the work place. During the production of the quantum dots, workers may be exposed via inhalation (although quantum dots normally don’t stay in the air), but also via ingestion or also skin contact can take place. A direct exposure during diagnostic or therapeutic treatment is most likely and may occur via intravenous injection.

Currently, there are no data are available regarding an environmental exposure of quantum dots.

The biological activity of quantum dots (QDs) is discussed very controversially and ranges from reports describing no adverse effects to studies showing immense toxicity [1-6]. These discrepancies depend on multiple factors including physico-chemical properties of the QDs themselves as well as environmental/experimental conditions [4].

Several studies demonstrated clearly that quantum dots (QDs) distribute all over the body after their uptake and may accumulate in specific organs or tissues. Comparable to their toxicity (see section “exposure - in vitro”) the uptake, the distribution, the possible metabolism and the excretion of QD is determined by their size, surface charge, amount, stability and coating [1].

 

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