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Exposure of bacteria to CdTe-core quantum dots: the importance of surface chemistry on cytotoxicity

Abstract : A series of water-soluble CdTe core quantum dots (QDs) with diameters below 5.0 nm and functionalized at their surface with polar ligands such as thioglycolic acid (TGA) or the tripeptide glutathione (GSH) were synthesized and characterized by UV-vis absorption spectroscopy, their photoluminescence measurements, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Because cell elongations and growth inhibitions were observed during labeling experiments, the cytotoxicity of CdTe-core QDs was investigated. Using growth inhibition tests combining different bacterial strains with different CdTe-core QDs, it was possible to demonstrate that the cytotoxicity of QDs towards bacteria depends on exposure concentrations, surface chemistry and coating, and that it varied with the strain considered. Growth inhibition tests carried out with heavy metal resistant bacteria, as well as ICP-AES analyses of cadmium species released by CdTe@TGA QDs demonstrated that the leakage of Cd2+ is not the main source of QD toxicity. Our study suggests that QD cytotoxicity is rather due to the formation of TeO2 and probably the existence of CdO formed by surface oxidation. With this respect, QDs possessing a CdO shell appeared very toxic.
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Contributor : Malik Boulefrakh <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 30, 2009 - 1:01:55 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 3:30:08 PM

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Raphaël Schneider, Cécile Wolpert, Hélène Guilloteau, Lavinia Balan, Jacques Lambert, et al.. Exposure of bacteria to CdTe-core quantum dots: the importance of surface chemistry on cytotoxicity. Nanotechnology, Institute of Physics, 2009, 20, pp.225101. ⟨10.1088/0957-4484/20/22/225101⟩. ⟨hal-00371721⟩



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