Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Thermal modification of wood and a complex study of its properties by magnetic resonance May 26th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Nanoscale Trojan horses treat inflammation May 24th, 2016

Discoveries

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Announcements

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Quantum Dots/Rods

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

ORNL demonstrates large-scale technique to produce quantum dots May 21st, 2016

First single-enzyme method to produce quantum dots revealed: Biological manufacturing process, pioneered by three Lehigh University engineers, produces equivalent quantum dots to those made chemically--but in a much greener, cheaper way May 9th, 2016

Superfast light source made from artificial atom April 28th, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic