A review of the capabilities of carbon dots for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer-related diseases

Robert Birundu Onyancha, Kingsley Eghonghon Ukhurebor, Uyiosa Osagie Aigbe, Naomi Bosibori Mogire, Ian Chanzu, Victoria Atieno Kitoto, Heri Septya Kusuma, Handoko Darmokoesoemo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As a killer disease, cancer remains one of the most dreadful diseases in the world. Thus far, attempts have been made to improve and revolutionize the diagnosis and therapy of this disease. Advancement in new technology coupled with a deep understanding of the microenvironments of cancerous cells has ensured a target-based approach in identifying the type of cancer and the correct pharmacological dose with the guaranteed utmost therapeutic effect. One of the novel technologies involves the use of low-dimensional carbon dots (CDs) nanomaterials owing to their novel properties like high surface area, cellular uptake, low cytotoxicity, biocompatibility, ease of synthesis, chemical inertness, and their ability to be functionalized, thus achieving desired physicochemical properties and re-engineering them to the desired applications. These exceptional properties are ideal for diagnosis through proper imaging, delivery of drugs and treatment/destroying cancer cells. Therefore, this review covers the current studies and reports on the synthesis and properties of CDs. Also, the potential use of CDs for bioimaging (in vitro and in vivo), diagnosis, and therapeutics of cancer-related diseases is discussed. In addition, suggestions on means for facilitating and advancing future tendencies that would evolve into creative innovations of the potential of CDs as well as mitigating the challenges of using CDs in the treatment and management (therapeutics and diagnostics) of cancer-related diseases are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103946
JournalJournal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Cancer
  • Carbon dots
  • Diagnosis
  • Disease
  • Therapeutics


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