Effects of Cd-based Quantum Dot Exposure on the Reproduction and Offspring of Kunming Mice over Multiple Generations

Jianwei Liu, Chengbin Yang, Jing Liu, Rui Hu, Yazhuo Hu, Hongyan Chen, Wing-Cheung Law, Mark T Swihart, Ling Ye, Kuan Wang, Ken-Tye Yong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The potential health risks associated with heavy-metal containing quantum dots (QDs) are a major concern accompanying their increased application in both research and industry. In this contribution, we investigate the effects of QDs on reproductive outcomes in Kunming mice across three generations. Rather than being exposed to QDs during pregnancy, mice were intravenously injected with phospholipid micelle encapsulated CdSe/CdS/ZnS QDs at a dosage of 0.81 mg Cd/kg two weeks before mating. Four treatment groups were studied: non-injected control, female injected, male injected and both parents injected with QDs. Although QDs accumulated in the major organs of treated mice, we did not detect any pregnancy complications or adverse effects. No significant difference in pregnancy outcomes could be identified between the QD treated groups and the control group. More importantly, through behavior monitoring, blood tests and histological evaluations, two generations of the offspring were observed to be in normal and healthy condition. Our results show that QD exposure with a short buffering period before conception does not cause obvious pregnancy complications or significant toxicity effects in treated mice or their offspring. This indicates that a short buffering period after QD exposure may reduce potential risk of QDs to reproductive health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-37
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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