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

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice: Rice University materials scientists create flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium August 14th, 2017

Engineers pioneer platinum shell formation process – and achieve first-ever observation August 11th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

JPK reports on how the University of Glasgow is using their NanoWizard® AFM and CellHesion module to study how cells interact with their surroundings August 2nd, 2017

Discoveries

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Announcements

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Quantum Dots/Rods

New approach on research and design for CQD catalysts in World Scientific NANO August 2nd, 2017

Coupling a nano-trumpet with a quantum dot enables precise position determination July 14th, 2017

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project