Quantum dots (QDs) are fluorescent inorganic nanocrystals with advantageous optical properties, which have been applied for biomedical purposes including imaging, diagnostic, drug delivery or therapy. Potential toxicity of QDs remains the major barrier to clinical translation, and as such the precise analysis of in vivo QDs distribution and pharmacokinetics is of major importance. Biodistribution studies in animal models are, however, sparse. The present review provides in a first lieu a summary of different techniques, which are currently used for relative quantification of QDs in vivo or their absolute quantification ex vivo. Fluorescence and radioactivity based techniques along with mass-spectrometry detection at the elementary level are addressed in this review. We further introduce biodistribution studies in animal models and discuss the possibilities to modify quantum dots biodistribution in function of different injection ways.
Keywords: Quantum dots, in vivo, detection, fluorescence, radioactivity, mass-spectroscopy, biodistribution
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