Quantum dots have emerged as an important class of material that offers great promise to a diverse range of applications ranging from energy conversion to biomedicine. Here, we review the potential of using quantum dots and quantum dot conjugates as sensitizers for photodynamic therapy (PDT). The photophysics of singlet oxygen generation in relation to quantum dot-based energy transfer is discussed and the possibility of using quantum dots as photosensitizer in PDT is assessed, including their current limitations to applications in biological systems. The biggest advantage of quantum dots over molecular photosensitizers that comes into perspective is their tunable optical properties and surface chemistries. Recent developments in the preparation and photophysical characterization of quantum dot energy transfer processes are also presented in this review, to provide insights on the future direction of quantum dot-based photosensitization studies from the viewpoint of our ongoing research.
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Vol. 82 • No. 3