The influence of selected ω-mercaptocarboxylate ligands on physicochemical properties and biological activity of Cd-free, zinc‑copper‑indium sulfide colloidal nanocrystals

Dominika Kulpińska , Marcin Drozd , Ilona Grabowska-Jadach , Mariusz Pietrzak , Artur Dybko , Elżbieta Malinowska , Zbigniew Brzózka


In this work core/shell cadmium-free zinc‑copper‑indium sulfide ZnCuInS/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) originally stabilized with hydrophilic alkanethiol were modified with 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) or 6-mercaptohexanoic acid (MHA) via two-step ligand exchange method. The obtained QDs were further characterized by TEM, UV Vis, and fluorescence spectroscopy. Both types of QDs were non-toxic in a wide range of concentrations. To our knowledge, our studies are the first attempt to determine the type of cell death and reactive oxygen species production level as a result of incubation of cell cultures with ZnCuInS/ZnS QDs. Furthermore, the accumulation of QDs in vitro was examined on three human cell lines by fluorescence intensity measurements and visualized by confocal microscopy. The modification of QDs with a ligand characterized by slightly longer aliphatic chain (MHA), instead of typically used MPA turns out to be beneficial both from the point of colloidal stability, preservation of optical properties during ligand exchange as well as reflects in a higher cellular uptake. This contribution can be beneficial from the point of view of the selection of the optimal ligands and concentrations in the case of ZnCuInS/ZnS core-shell QDs for biological applications.
Author Dominika Kulpińska (FC / CMB)
Dominika Kulpińska,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
, Marcin Drozd (FC / CMB)
Marcin Drozd,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
, Ilona Grabowska-Jadach (FC / CMB)
Ilona Grabowska-Jadach,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
, Mariusz Pietrzak (FC / CMB)
Mariusz Pietrzak,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
, Artur Dybko (FC / CMB)
Artur Dybko,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
, Elżbieta Malinowska (FC / CMB)
Elżbieta Malinowska,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
, Zbigniew Brzózka (FC / CMB)
Zbigniew Brzózka,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
Journal seriesMaterials Science & Engineering C - Materials for Biological Applications, ISSN 0928-4931
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishQuantum dots, Cytotoxicity, Surface modification, ω-Mercaptocarboxylate ligan
ASJC Classification2210 Mechanical Engineering; 2211 Mechanics of Materials; 2500 General Materials Science; 3104 Condensed Matter Physics
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)140
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 140.0, 26-06-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus Citations = 2; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 1.384; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 4.959 (2) - 2018=4.708 (5)
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