Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 209–214 | Cite as

Recent advances in quantum dots for biomedical applications

  • Jae Seo Lee
  • Yun Hee Youn
  • Il Keun KwonEmail author
  • Na Re KoEmail author


Quantum dots (QDs) have been widely used for fluorescent nanoprobes as bioimaging agents. However, QD can have toxic side-effects as they include heavy metals. Many researchers suggest graphene quantum dots (GQDs) as an alternative material with low toxicity and good biocompatibility. GQDs have many attractive features due to their structure. These include outstanding mechanical properties, optical properties, and good physicochemical stability. These exceptional properties can be exploited for biomedical applications, especially in the fields of drug-delivery, bioimaging, and tissue-engineering. This article presents a comprehensive review of GQDs. The primary focus is on their unique properties as they relate to the biomedical field and recently reported applications.


Quantum dots Graphene quantum dots Biomedical application Drug delivery system Bio-sensing agents Tissue engineering 



This work was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and funded by the Korean government (MSIP&MOHW) (No. 2017M3A9E4048170). This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2016R1A6A3A11934989).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of the interest

J.S. Lee, Y.H. Youn, I.K. Kwon, and N.R. Ko declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dentistry, Graduate SchoolKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Dental Materials, School of DentistryKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Program for BioengineeringSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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