The influence of selected ω-mercaptocarboxylate ligands on physicochemical properties and biological activity of Cd-free, zinc‑copper‑indium sulfide colloidal nanocrystals.

Author(s) Kalinowska, D.; Drozd, M.; Grabowska-Jadach, I.; Pietrzak, M.; Dybko, A.; Malinowska, E.; Brzózka, Z.
Journal Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl
Date Published 2019 Apr

In this work core/shell cadmium-free zinc‑copper‑indium sulfide ZnCuInS/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) originally stabilized with hydrophilic alkanethiol were modified with 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) or 6-mercaptohexanoic acid (MHA) via two-step ligand exchange method. The obtained QDs were further characterized by TEM, UV Vis, and fluorescence spectroscopy. Both types of QDs were non-toxic in a wide range of concentrations. To our knowledge, our studies are the first attempt to determine the type of cell death and reactive oxygen species production level as a result of incubation of cell cultures with ZnCuInS/ZnS QDs. Furthermore, the accumulation of QDs in vitro was examined on three human cell lines by fluorescence intensity measurements and visualized by confocal microscopy. The modification of QDs with a ligand characterized by slightly longer aliphatic chain (MHA), instead of typically used MPA turns out to be beneficial both from the point of colloidal stability, preservation of optical properties during ligand exchange as well as reflects in a higher cellular uptake. This contribution can be beneficial from the point of view of the selection of the optimal ligands and concentrations in the case of ZnCuInS/ZnS core-shell QDs for biological applications.

DOI 10.1016/j.msec.2018.12.043
ISSN 1873-0191
Citation Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2019;97:583592.

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