Intracellular nucleic acid interactions facilitated by quantum dots: conceptualizing theranostics

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The concept of theranostics arises from the unification of both diagnostic and therapeutic applications into a single package. The implementation of nanoparticles, such as semiconductor quantum dots (QDs), to achieve theranostic applications, offers great potential for development of methods that are suitable for personalized medicine. Researchers have taken advantage of the physiochemical properties of QDs to elicit novel bioconjugation techniques that enable the attachment of multifunctional moieties on the surface of QDs. In this review, the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of QDs that feature the use of nucleic acids are highlighted with a particular emphasis on the possibility of combinatorial applications. Nucleic acid research is of particular interest for gene therapy, and is relevant to the understanding of gene regulation pathways and gene expression dynamics. Recent toxicity studies featuring multifunctional QDs are also examined. Future perspectives discussing the expected development of this field conclude the article.

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