NIR-quantum dots in biomedical imaging and their future

Hélio M. Gil, Thomas W. Price, Kanik Chelani, Jean Sebastien G. Bouillard, Simon D.J. Calaminus, Graeme J. Stasiuk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorescence imaging has gathered interest over the recent years for its real-time response and high sensitivity. Developing probes for this modality has proven to be a challenge. Quantum dots (QDs) are colloidal nanoparticles that possess unique optical and electronic properties due to quantum confinement effects, whose excellent optical properties make them ideal for fluorescence imaging of biological systems. By selectively controlling the synthetic methodologies it is possible to obtain QDs that emit in the first (650–950 nm) and second (1000–1400 nm) near infra-red (NIR) windows, allowing for superior imaging properties. Despite the excellent optical properties and biocompatibility shown by some NIR QDs, there are still some challenges to overcome to enable there use in clinical applications. In this review, we discuss the latest advances in the application of NIR QDs in preclinical settings, together with the synthetic approaches and material developments that make NIR QDs promising for future biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102189
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021


  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Materials Science
  • Optical Materials


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