Quantum Dots and Fluorescent Probes: Advancements in Skin Imaging for Research

Quantum Dots and Fluorescent Probes: Advancements in Skin Imaging for Research

When we look at our skin, we can only see it at the surface level. Some things visible to the eyes include fine lines, pores, wrinkles, and sunspots. All these start to occur at a cellular level before becoming visible. A lot may be learned by studying these biological processes happening inside the layers of human skin. In addition, it may give insight into the rejuvenation process.

There have been several advancements in studying skin to understand aging, the effects of diseases, and diagnoses. Quantum dots and fluorescent probes are one such skin imaging technique that gives an insight into what's happening inside the tissue. As we know, all human body functions occur at a nanoscale. 

In simple words, the fluorescent nanodots QDs can also be used to discover malignancies in the skin and work as a theranostic(therapy/diagnostic) tool. Keep reading as we discuss the applications and advancements in skin imaging using QDs. 

The Need for Skin Imaging

You may be wondering what is the need for skin imaging or how it might apply to skin rejuvenation. Cellular-level skin imaging is essential to check any inflammation, cancer, and dermatological needs of the dermal tissue. These noninvasive skin imaging tools are of great value to improve rejuvenation techniques and esthetic procedures. 

The advancements in such procedures ensure an improvement in anti-aging treatments and their effectiveness. In hopes of finding the best suitable option, skin imaging can be a great choice instead of undergoing an invasive biopsy. 

Methods such as fluorescent probes, dermoscopy, ultrasonography, and reflectance confocal microscopy are quick and nonsurgical. So no one has to worry about downtime and scars. 

This is where the quantum dots(QDs) come into play. They are nanocrystals of semiconducting substances. With quantum mechanical characteristics and a particle size of 2-10 nm, they can penetrate and radiate different color images for analysis. 

Another effective method to get skin imaging diagnostics is to use high-frequency ultrasound waves. In addition, mole scanners for diagnosing pigmented lesions work on the principle of video microscope and digital analysis. 

Some skin imaging technique principles can also be used for skin rejuvenation. For instance, we may use radiofrequency, ultrasound therapy, and infrared LED masks to regenerate the skin.

Penetrative Powers of Fluorescent Quantum Dots in Skin Care

Moreover, QDs have electrical properties that may work as drug carriers to deliver nanomedicine. Therefore, they may help in skin imaging research and deliver therapeutic healing benefits at the target place. 

A study was conducted to see the quantum dot penetration ability on the human skin. These nanoparticles were significant for skin surface modifications and pH changes. A laser scan fluorescence confocal microscopy was used to evaluate the penetration of nanoparticles on excised human skin. 

The QD fluorescent nanoparticles had three surface modifications, namely, Polyethylene glycol (PEG), PEG-amine (PEG-NH₂), and PEG-carboxyl (PEG-COOH). An aqueous solution with varying pH between 7 to 9 was used. There was a detectable penetration in the skin for modification of PEG-QD at pH 8.3.

Furthermore, NIR-quantum dots in biomedical imaging may also be used to study tissues and their current conditions. The method works on penetrative QDs that emit in the first (650–950 nm) and second (1000–1400 nm) near infra-red (NIR) on the tissue. As a result, it creates superior imaging.

Applications of Quantum Dots and Fluorescent Probes

Here are several applications of Quantum Dots and Fluorescent Probes:

Inner body imaging

QDs are used to see inner body images through infrared radiation in near IR wavelengths of 700-900 nm. The process may be in development, but it has massive potential to look a few mm deep inside the skin. What is impressive is that these waves do not cause any harm or reaction to the skin. 

Even though these waves do not show the circulatory system, they can still provide information on the cells and tissues. This information is most valuable for developing skin rejuvenation tools and techniques.

Drug transportation

As we know, QDs have photophysical characteristics that may be used for effective drug delivery. Medications, including antibodies, peptides, or small ligands, may be delivered at targeted areas using QDs biomolecules linking. 

Cancer treatment

Early detection and treatment of cancer may be possible due to the use of QDs. They have specific surface functionalization that works to minimize the peripheral side effects of other invasive treatments. 

Recently, omic technology has been used to develop symptomatic diagnostic kits for cancers with attached antibodies, peptides, and aptamers. This may significantly help in knowing about cancer biomarkers. 

Moisture Retention in Fluorescent Carbon Dots

There has been a rise in the popularity of moisture-retaining humectants in skin care and rejuvenation. With additional hydration in the skin, the tightness and appearance of fine lines may be reduced. 

Using carbon dots due to their small size delivers the needed optical surveillance properties and moisture retention. Carbon dot's' low toxicity also makes it suitable for humans. 

Alongside photoluminescence, photodynamic, and photothermal processes, carbon dots(CDs) also have a carmine cochineal-derived feature to retain moisture. To understand the relationship between CDs and moisture retention, scientists have studied it by creating moisturizing lipstick. This same principle may be used in skin care for improved hydration.  

Furthermore, the moisturization impact of Car-CDs on human skin was studied. Ten participants in the study were given a Car-CD solution to apply to their hands. After two hours, the moisture scale in the skin of the hands improved. This moisturizing appreciation rate (MAR) improvement ranged from 27-89%. 

In the same study, the effect of carbon quantum dots was studied. The research aimed to understand the moisturization properties of fluorescent Car-CDs. Some products were formulated and tested to compare with Car-CDs. The result proved they were comparable, with an increase of 13.94% with Car-CD nano-additives. 

Noninvasive At-Home Treatments for Skin Rejuvenation

Light therapy with different wavelengths is effective in skin rejuvenation. For instance, the yellow LED had an overall healing impact on the skin. Red light and NIR light support collagen synthesis in the skin.

When looking for an at-home facial treatment, we suggest using a professional quality premium device that will deliver results. You may try the EvenSkyn® Mirage Pro LED Phototherapy Face Mask for overall facial skin revival. It has 204 individual unit LEDs to deliver potent light therapy. Mirage may help combat fine lines, wrinkles, and other photoaging signs on the skin. 

This portable mask can be used on the go or while you wish to relax at home. It has three different color modes— red, blue, and yellow. You may use one or let the device work on its automatic mode, cycling different colors. So, you can get several benefits in just one facial session. 

The red light will lead to collagen synthesis, diminishing mild signs of aging. Blue light is helpful in preventing acne breakouts as it decreases bacteria on the skin. Lastly, the yellow light will rejuvenate your skin from within, making it appear healthier.  

You may use the device for 15-25 minutes. It comes with a remote to adjust light color and duration. Moreover, it has an ergonomic adjusting design with eye protection for safe use. Within 4 weeks of three weekly sessions, you may notice your skin has improved in appearance and looks more radiant. 

Wrapping Up

With advanced research, several techniques can be developed for skin imaging and rejuvenation. Quantum dots with fluorescent probes is a new developing technology. The advancements have made it possible to use QDs for skin imaging, disease detection, and drug delivery. 

QDs penetration works on light wavelengths, and the same principle may be applied to facial rejuvenation therapies. For instance, LED masks are hype for anti-aging facial rejuvenation therapy. With consistent use, there may be noticeable changes in the skin. 


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