ZnS nanocrystal cytotoxicity is influenced by capping agent chemical structure and duration of time in suspension
Article first published online: 14 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Applied Toxicology
Volume 33, Issue 3, pages 227–237, March 2013
How to Cite
Weilnau, J. N., Black, S. E., Chehata, V. J., Schmidt, M. P., Holt, K. L., Carl, L. M., Straka, C. J., Marsh, A. L., Patton, W. A. and Lappas, C. M. (2013), ZnS nanocrystal cytotoxicity is influenced by capping agent chemical structure and duration of time in suspension. J. Appl. Toxicol., 33: 227–237. doi: 10.1002/jat.2811
- Issue published online: 25 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 14 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 29 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 14 DEC 2011
As a result of their characteristic physical and optical properties, including their size, intense fluorescence, broad excitation, narrow emission and resistance to photobleaching, semiconductor nanocrystals are potentially useful for a variety of biological applications including molecular imaging, live-cell labeling, photodynamic therapy and targeted drug delivery. In this study, zinc sulfide (ZnS) semiconductor nanocrystals were synthesized in the 3 to 4 nm size range with selected capping agents intended to protect the nanocrystal core and increase its biological compatibility. We show that the biocompatibility of ZnS nanocrystals with primary murine splenocytes is influenced by the chemical structure of the outer capping agent on the nanocrystal. Additionally, the cytotoxicity of ZnS nanocrystals increases markedly as a function of time spent in suspension in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). These data suggest that the potential therapeutic and/or biological use of ZnS nanocrystals is inherently dependent upon the proper choice of capping agent, as well as the conditions of nanocrystal preparation and storage. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.