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Silicon nanoparticles: applications in cell biology and medicine

Authors Norah O’Farrell, Andrew Houlton, Benjamin R Horrocks

Published 15 January 2007 Volume 2006:1(4) Pages 451—472

Norah O’Farrell, Andrew Houlton, Benjamin R Horrocks

School of Natural Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Abstract: In this review, we describe the synthesis, physical properties, surface functionalization, and biological applications of silicon nanoparticles (also known as quantum dots). We compare them against current technologies, such as fluorescent organic dyes and heavy metal chalcogenide-based quantum dots. In particular, we examine the many different methods that can be used to both create and modify these nanoparticles and the advantages they may have over current technologies that have stimulated research into designing silicon nanoparticles for in vitro and in vivo applications.

Keywords: biology, medicine, nanoparticles, quantum dots, silicon