Cancer targeting and drug delivery using carbon-based quantum dots and nanotubes

Joel Pardo, Zhili Peng, Roger M. Leblanc

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Currently cancer treatment is in large part non-specific with respect to treatment. Medication is often harsh on patients, whereby they suffer several undesired side effects as a result. Carbon-based nanoparticles have attracted attention in recent years due to their ability to act as a platform for the attachment of several drugs and/or ligands. Relatively simple models are often used in cancer research, wherein carbon nanoparticles are conjugated to a ligand that is specific to an overexpressed receptor for imaging and drug delivery in cancer treatment. These carbon nanoparticles confer unique properties to the imaging or delivery vehicle due to their nontoxic nature and their high fluorescence qualities. Chief among the ongoing research within carbon-based nanoparticles emerge carbon dots (C-dots) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). In this review, the aforementioned carbon nanoparticles will be discussed in their use within doxorubicin and gemcitabine based drug delivery vehicles, as well as the ligand-mediated receptor specific targeted therapy. Further directions of research in current field are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number378
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018


  • Carbon dots
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Doxorubicin
  • Drug delivery
  • Folic acid
  • Gemcitabine
  • Hyaluronan
  • Transferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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