Methotrexate-conjugated AgInS2/ZnS quantum dots for optical imaging and drug delivery

Pei Jung Wu, Keng Liang Ou, Jem Kun Chen, Hsiao Ping Fang, Shin Hwa Tzing, Wei Xiang Lin, Jia Yaw Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to conjugate drugs with quantum dots (QDs) offers excellent prospects in pharmacotherapy for the improvement of diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Here, we report a facile strategy to prepare dual-functional nanomaterials consisting of QDs and an anticancer drug. Hydrophilic AgInS 2/ZnS QDs were obtained through an ultrasonication process by introducing the amphiphilic polymer, poly(maleic anhydride-alt-1-octadecene) (PMAO). Subsequently, the anticancer drug methotrexate (MTX) was covalently coupled to the surface of the AgInS2/ZnS QDs by carbodiimide chemistry. The MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] cell proliferation assay indicated that these hydrophilic PMAO-coated AgInS2/ZnS QDs exhibited negligible cytotoxicity. Human cervical (HeLa) cancer cells had >80% cell viability after 24 h at concentrations of up to 300 μg/mL. Confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that the AgInS2/ZnS QDs conjugated with MTX were taken up effectively by HeLa cells. In addition, this nanomaterial was shown to have a dose-dependent antiproliferative effect in cancer cells by the MTT assay. These important features suggest that AgInS2/ZnS QDs conjugated with MTX might be a novel candidate for cancer therapeutics and diagnosis in future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-416
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Letters
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2014


  • Biomaterials
  • Nanocomposites
  • Polymeric composites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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