microPET-based biodistribution of quantum dots in living mice

ML Schipper, Z Cheng, SW Lee, LA Bentolila, G Iyer, J Rao, X Chen, AM Wu, S. Weiss, SS Gambhir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluates the quantitative biodistribution of commercially available CdSe quantum dots (QD) in mice. Methods: 64Cu-Labeled 800- or 525-nm emission wavelength QD (21- or 12-nm diameter), with or without 2,000 MW (molecular weight) polyethylene glycol (PEG), were injected intravenously into mice (5.55 MBq/25 pmol QD) and studied using well counting or by serial microPET and region-of-interest analysis. Results: Both methods show rapid uptake by the liver (27.4–38.9 %ID/g) (%ID/g is percentage injected dose per gram tissue) and spleen (8.0–12.4 %ID/g). Size has no influence on biodistribution within the range tested here. Pegylated QD have slightly slower uptake into liver and spleen (6 vs. 2 min) and show additional low-level bone uptake (6.5–6.9 %ID/g). No evidence of clearance from these organs was observed. Conclusion: Rapid reticuloendothelial system clearance of QD will require modification of QD for optimal utility in imaging living subjects. Formal quantitative biodistribution/imaging studies will be helpful in studying many types of nanoparticles, including quantum dots.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1511-1518
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2007


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