Compared with the organic dyes and fluorescent proteins, quantum dots (QDs) show many unique optical properties, such as narrow and tunable emission spectra, superior photostability, high quantum yields, and the capacity of simultaneous excitation of multiple fluorescence colors. The QDs emitting at above 700 nm in the NIR region minimize the problems of indigenous fluorescence of tissues and meet the requirements of in vivo biological imaging applications. However, most of QDs containing cadmium showed potential cytotoxicity under extreme conditions limiting their further applications and clinical translations.

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