Apoferritin-encapsulated PbS quantum dots significantly inhibit growth of colorectal carcinoma cells

Tracey D. Bradshaw*, Marc Junor, Amalia Patanè, Phil Clarke, Neil R. Thomas, Mei Li, Stephen Mann, Lyudmila Turyanska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

12 Citations (Scopus)


Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is the 3rd most common cancer worldwide, thus development of novel therapeutic strategies is imperative. Herein potent, selective dose-dependent antitumor activity of horse spleen apoferritin encapsulated PbS quantum dots (AFt-PbS) against two human-derived colorectal carcinoma cell lines is reported (GI50 ∼ 70 μg mL-1). Following in vitro exposure to AFt-PbS, CRC cells fail to recover proliferative capacity, and undergo apoptosis triggered by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In stark contrast, the AFt-PbS nanocomposites do not affect the growth and cell cycle of non-tumor human microvessel endothelial HMEC-1 cells (GI50 > 500 μg mL -1). In vivo, AFt-PbS QDs are well tolerated by mice. Neither adverse health nor behavioral indicators were observed throughout the 15 day study. The photoluminescence of AFt-PbS combined with selective antitumor activity offer potential development of AFt-PbS for simultaneous non-invasive imaging and treatment of malignant tissue. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6254-6260
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2013

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