- Current study was testing the ability to produce quantum dots in a
non-toxic and safe manner using tea leaf extract.
- The test was successful and interestingly, the quantum dots
produced from tea leaves were additionally found to suppress and destroy
lung tumor cells.
- Quantum dots (a type of nanoparticle) have potentially numerous
applications in science and medicine such as tumor imaging and targeted
Tea leaf extract derived quantum
dots can inhibit the growth of and destroy upto 80 percent of lung tumor cells, according to a recent collaborative venture between Swansea University experts and
colleagues from two Indian universities. The findings of the study appear in
the journal of Applied Nano Materials.
Details of Study - Producing Non-toxic Quantum Dots and Added Surprise Finding
Normally quantum dots are produced chemically,
however the process is complicated and quite expensive in addition to be having undesirable toxic
‘Quantum dots derived from tea leaves extract could potentially be a simple, cheap and a safe way to treat cancer.’
As stated previously, to overcome the above limitations the Swansea team were experimenting a less toxic and safer method of producing quantum dots
- For this the study team used tea leaves extract to try and produce quantum dots in a non-toxic manner.
- Tea leaves contain several compounds, such as polyphenols, amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants. The scientists mixed tea leaf extract with cadmium sulphate (CdSO4) and sodium sulphide (Na2S) and left the mixture to
incubate, a process which aids in the formation of quantum dots
- The study confirmed the results of
previous research in the field that showed
tea leaves to be a safe cheap and simple way of producing quantum dots
for various applications.
team then applied the resultant quantum
dots to lung cancer
to determine the effect on tumor
cells. The key finding included the following:
- Quantum dots derived from tea leaves
suppressed the growth of lung cancer cells. They penetrated into the very
tiny nanopores of the cancer cells and destroyed up to 80% of them.
The above finding was unexpected and came as a surprise
Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu of Swansea University, lead researcher on the project,
and a Ser Cymru-II Rising Star Fellow, said. "Our research confirmed previous evidence
that tea leaf extract can be a non-toxic alternative to making quantum dots
The real surprise, however, was that the dots actively inhibited the growth of
the lung cancer cells. We hadn't been expecting this.
- The quantum dots derived from tea
leaf extract also showed exceptional
fluorescence in cancer cell bioimaging compared to conventional
chemically derived nanoparticles.
What are Quantum Dots
(QD) and Their Uses?
dots (QDs) are semiconductor nano-particles, with several unique properties
and interesting phenomena, such as size dependent emission wavelength, broad
excitation range and narrow emission peak
. These are tiny particles measuring
less than 10 nanometres.
In comparison, human hair is 40,000 nanometres
basic difference between quantum dots and nanoparticles is that quantum dots
are semiconductor material but nanoparticles
are metallic in nature. The physical
nature of quantum dots confers several unique properties that make them
superior to conventional nanoparticles.
to their highly tunable properties, quantum dots have evoked a lot of interest
and have several potential applications including solar cells,
transistors, LEDs, diode lasers and second-harmonic, medical
imaging and quantum computing.
Scope of Research and
- The team plan to expand on the
current research and plan to investigate
the role of tea leaf extract in
cancer cell imaging, and study the quantum dots and the cancer cell
- They hope to set up a quantum dot (QD) factory to explore various possible
applications of these particles.
In conclusion, quantum dots appear to be a very promising avenue to
explore for developing new cancer treatments, as well
as other medical applications such as anti-microbial paint used in operating theaters, or in sun creams to name a few.
- Nanoparticles derived from tea leaves destroy lung cancer cells - (https://phys.org/news/2018-05-nanoparticles-derived-tea-lung-cancer.html)