Development of Copper Nanoclusters for In Vitro and In Vivo Theranostic Applications

Wing Fu Lai, Wing Tak Wong, Andrey L. Rogach

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Theranostics refers to the incorporation of therapeutic and diagnostic functions into one material system. An important class of nanomaterials exploited for theranostics is metal nanoclusters (NCs). In contrast to gold and silver NCs, copper is an essential trace element for humans. It can be more easily removed from the body. This, along with the low cost of copper that offers potential large-scale nanotechnology applications, means that copper NCs have attracted great interest in recent years. The latest advances in the design, synthesis, surface engineering, and applications of copper NCs in disease diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment are reviewed. Strategies to control and enhance the emission of copper NCs are considered. With this synopsis of the up-to-date development of copper NCs as theranostic agents, it is hoped that insights and directions for translating current advances from the laboratory to the clinic can be further advanced and accelerated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1906872
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • copper
  • functional ligands
  • light emission
  • nanoclusters
  • theranostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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