As the production and use of nanomaterials increases, it is important to understand their environmental and biological fate. Because their unmatched chemical, physical, and optical properties make them useful in a wide variety of applications including biomedical imaging, photo-voltaics, and light emitting diodes, the use of semiconductor nanocrystals such as quantum dots (QDs) is increasing rapidly. Although QDs hold great potential in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications, the environmental implications of these particles is largely unexplored. The nanocrystal core of many types of QDs contains the toxic metal cadmium (Cd), so possible release of Cd from the QD core is cause for concern. Because many types of QDs are miscible in water, QD interactions with aquatic organisms and their environment require more attention. In the present study we used fluorometry to measure time and dose dependent uptake, accumulation, and post-exposure clearance of accumulated QDs in the gut tract by the aquatic vertebrate Pimephales promelas. By using fluorometry, we were able to measure accumulated QD concentrations. To our knowledge, this is the first reported attempt to quantify accumulated QDs in an organism and is an important step in understanding the interactions among QDs in aquatic organisms and environments.
Leigh, Kenton L.; Bouldin, Jennifer L.; and Buchanan, Roger A.
"MEASUREMENT OF ACCUMULATION OF SEMICONDUCTOR NANOCRYSTAL QUANTUM DOTS BY PIMEPHALES PROMELAS,"
Dose-Response: An International Journal:
3, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dose_response/vol10/iss3/6