Skip to Main Content
Contradictory results on quantum dot cytotoxicity exist for many types of biological systems, especially microorganisms. In this study, we compare the cytotoxicity of CdTe quantum dots (QDs) to four very different environmental bacterial strains, giving quantitative models of the growth curves for exposed organisms. The mechanisms of toxicity are explored by measuring reactive oxygen species generation by the QDs alone and investigating the oxidative damage to mutant bacteria especially sensitive to ROS. Electron microscopic examination also reveals factors that may contribute to resistance to nanoparticles in some strains.