Magnetic quantum dots in biotechnology - synthesis and applications

Kalpesh D. Mahajan, Qirui Fan, Jenny Dorcéna, Gang Ruan, Jessica O. Winter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum dots (QDs) have great promise in biological imaging, and as this promise is realized, there has been increasing interest in combining the benefits of QDs with those of other materials to yield composites with multifunctional properties. One of the most common materials combined with QDs is magnetic materials, either as ions (e.g. gadolinium) or as nanoparticles (e.g. superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, SPIONs). The fluorescent property of the QDs permits visualization, whereas the magnetic property of the composite enables imaging, magnetic separation, and may even have therapeutic benefit. In this review, the synthesis of fluorescent-magnetic nanoparticles, including magnetic QDs is explored; and the applications of these materials in imaging, separations, and theranostics are discussed. As the properties of these materials continue to improve, QDs have the potential to greatly impact biological imaging, diagnostics, and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1424-1434
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Iron oxide nanoparticles
  • Magnetic quantum dots
  • Nanocomposites
  • Quantum dots


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