Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Quantum dot research could lead to medical advances

Abstract:
Working with atomic-scale particles known as quantum dots, a Missouri University of Science and Technology biologist hopes to develop a new and better way to deliver and monitor proteins, medicine, DNA and other molecules at the cellular level.

Quantum dot research could lead to medical advances

Rolla, MO | Posted on July 24th, 2009

The approach would work much like a virus, but would deliver healing instead of sickness, says Dr. Yue-Wern Huang, associate professor of biological sciences at Missouri S&T. Huang is leading the research effort, which is funded through a $225,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Huang's research involves constructing tiny vessels of cell-penetrating proteins to transport the quantum dots, along with proteins, medicine or DNA, into the cell and release them. He likens the process to the ancient story of the Trojan Horse, which according to Greek mythology was used to delivered Odysseus and his army into the enemy city of Troy. But in this instance, the vessel is a "protein transduction domain," the cargo consists of biomolecules or other therapeutic agents, and the walled city is the cell.

Essentially, the nontoxic protein transduction domain, or PTD, is derived from a virus that can penetrate the cellular membrane. But instead of spreading sickness, it would spread medicine or DNA.

Quantum dots are fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals - specks that are only a few nanometers in size - that possess unusual physical and chemical properties, making them attractive as tools for new approaches to medicine. For example, Huang says, the fluorescence of quantum dots does not fade as quickly as that of traditional fluorescent dyes used for tracing or mapping in the body. Moreover, quantum dots have a longer half-life and are more resistant to degradation than traditional fluorescent dyes. Because of these qualities, quantum dots are more effective for detecting cancerous cells and other maladies, Huang says.

"Quantum dots are very photo-stable and they have a very high quantum yield. In other words, you don't need to use very much and it is very easy to detect under the microscope," he says.

Huang and his fellow researchers plan to synthesize cadmium-based fluorescent quantum dots, encapsulated by other elements to render the cadmium harmless, and attach them to protein transduction domain (PTD) materials. The quantum dot/PTD mixture is then combined with the cargo, placed into cell cultures and examined. Though early in the research, Huang says the material populates the cell cultures 10 times faster than a system without PTDs over an hour's time.

According to Huang, this work is unique because it involves the merger of two separate areas of biomedical study - quantum dot research and the PTD delivery system. Before this research, the two disciplines have never been merged, he says.

Huang projects "many potential long-term applications in biomedical areas" to come from this research. They include improvements in medical imaging and monitoring, as well as more efficient delivery of medicines and therapeutic agents at the cellular level and in humans.

Other Missouri S&T researchers working with Huang on the effort are Dr. Jeffrey Winiarz, an assistant professor of chemistry, who is creating the quantum dots, and Dr. Katie Shannon, assistant professor of biological sciences, who is providing bio-imaging expertise.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Office of Public Relations
1201 N. State St.
105 Campus Support Facility
Rolla, MO 65409-0220
Phone: 573-341-4328
Fax: 573-341-6157

Copyright © Missouri University of Science and Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology: GW researcher Adam Friedman, M.D., studied the potential use of nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles to improve onychomycosis treatment July 11th, 2018

New sensor technology enables super-sensitive live monitoring of human biomolecules July 3rd, 2018

Discoveries

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Announcements

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Quantum Dots/Rods

Individual quantum dots imaged in 3-D for first time February 28th, 2018

Moving nanoparticles using light and magnetic fields January 25th, 2018

Tweaking quantum dots powers-up double-pane solar windows: Engineered quantum dots could bring down the cost of solar electricity January 2nd, 2018

Quantum communications bend to our needs: By changing the wavelengths of entangled photons to those used in telecommunications, researchers see quantum technology take a major leap forward September 28th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project