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Background: The inherent toxicity of unmodified Quantum Dots (QDs) is a major hindrance to their use in biological applications. To make them more potent as neuroprosthetic and neurotherapeutic agents, thioglycolic acid (TGA) capped CdTe QDs, were coated with a gelatine layer and investigated in this study with differentiated pheochromocytoma 12 (PC12) cells. The QD - cell interactions were investigated after incubation periods of up to 17 days by MTT and APOTOX-Glo Triplex assays along with using confocal microscopy.Results: Long term exposure (up to 17 days) to gelatinated TGA-capped CdTe QDs of PC12 cells in the course of differentiation and after neurites were grown resulted in dramatically reduced cytotoxicity compared to non-gelatinated TGA-capped CdTe QDs.Conclusion: The toxicity mechanism of QDs was identified as caspase-mediated apoptosis as a result of cadmium leaking from the core of QDs. It was therefore concluded that the gelatine capping on the surface of QDs acts as a barrier towards the leaking of toxic ions from the core QDs in the long term (up to 17 days). © 2012 Prasad et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Prasad, B. R., Mullins, G., Nikolskaya, N., Connolly, D., Smith, T. J., Gérard, V. A., … Rochev, Y. (2012). Effects of long-term exposure of gelatinated and non-gelatinated cadmium telluride quantum dots on differentiated PC12 cells. Journal of Nanobiotechnology, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-3155-10-4