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    The marriage of biology with nanomaterials has significantly accelerated advancement of biological techniques, profoundly facilitating practical applications in biomedical fields. With unique optical properties (e.g., tunable broad excitation, narrow emission spectra, robust photostability, and high quantum yield), fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) have been reasonably functionalized with controllable interfaces and extensively used as a new class of optical probe in biological researches. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in synthesis and properties of QDs. Moreover, we provide an overview of the outstanding potential of QDs for biomedical research and innovative methods of drug delivery. Specifically, the applications of QDs as novel fluorescent nanomaterials for biomedical sensing and imaging have been detailedly highlighted and discussed. In addition, recent concerns on potential toxicity of QDs are also introduced, ranging from cell researches to animal models.

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    Dan Mo, Liang Hu, Guangming Zeng, Guiqiu Chen, Jia Wan, Zhigang Yu, Zhenzhen Huang, Kai He, Chen Zhang, Min Cheng. Cadmium-containing quantum dots: properties, applications, and toxicity. Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 2017 Apr;101(7):2713-2733

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    PMID: 28251268

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