Diagnosis and treatment of lung injury using quantum dots

Researchers at the University at Buffalo have figured out a way to deliver a chemotherapeutic drug to specific cells in the lung without causing acute inflammation. They used tiny semiconductor crystals known as quantum dots, which they linked to doxorubicin, an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug, and targeted specific lung cells called alveolar macrophages. "The ability to target specific cells in the lung without exposing surrounding cells and tissue or distant organs to the detrimental effects of drugs is an exciting avenue to explore," UB research fellow Krishnan Chakravarthy says in a news release. He adds that linking quantum dots with therapeutic drugs may have tremendous potential for diagnosis and treatment of lung injury compared with other nanoparticle formulations. What is not addressed in this article, however, are the potential toxic effects of the quantum dots themselves. Other studies have raised alarm bells about the toxicity of quantum dots. Report