The unique optical, magnetic, and electronic properties of nanocrystals enable them to be key probes and vectors in the next generation of biomedical applications. Semiconductor quantum dots have been demonstrated as excellent fluorescent probes. However, they suffer from the intrinsic limitations of optical imaging systems such as low penetration depth and large background fluorescence. Magnetic nanocrystals are now emerging in biomedical applications with new possibilities. We have demonstrated the production of high quality water-soluble iron oxide (WSIO) nanocrystals by thermal decomposition method. One of the current challenges now is how to develop well-defined magnetic nanocrystals with optimal nanoscale magnetism, high bio-stability to withstand harsh biological conditions, Conjugation of biologically functional molecules to nanocrystals produce nanohybrids that have multi-functionality such as detection, diagnosis, and therapeutics. However, further development of in vivo imaging applications of these molecules has been very limited with very few successful in vivo demonstrations. In addition to therapeutic antibody, the ability to incorporate genes or drugs into detectable site-targeted nanosystems may represent a whole new paradigm in therapeutics. The application for molecular and cellar imaging in nanoscience have not been fully developed. However, it has enormous potential for development and nanocrystals will bring improvement in bio-medical sciences.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by Schering Korea Research Fund of 2005 and Yonsei University Research Fund of 2004.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)