Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Quantum dots cast light on biomedical processes

Quantum dots made water-soluble by a coating can, in turn, be combined with polymers and be coupled to other quantum dots
Quantum dots made water-soluble by a coating can, in turn, be combined with polymers and be coupled to other quantum dots

Abstract:
The light emitted by quantum dots is both more intense and longer lasting than that produced by the fluorescent markers commonly used in medical and biological applications. Yet these nano-scale light sources still suffer from one major drawback - they do not dissolve in water. Researchers at the University of Twente's MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology and at the A*STAR agency in Singapore have found a way to remedy this. They have developed a coating which allows quantum dots to be used inside the human body, even inside living cells. The researchers published details of their coating 'recipe' in the October issue of Nature Protocols.

Quantum dots cast light on biomedical processes

Enschede, The Netherlands | Posted on October 27th, 2011

The new coating enables quantum dots, which are semiconductor nanocrystals, to literally cast light on biological processes. These dots are "nuggets", consisting of several hundred to several thousand atoms, that emit visible light when they are exposed to invisible UV radiation, for example. They range from a few nanometres to several tens of nanometres in size. The coating's benefits are not limited to improved solubility in water alone. Other molecules can "lock on" to its surface - so called 'click chemistry'. This could make coated quantum dots sensitive to certain substances, for example, or allow them to bind to specific types of cells, such as tumour cells.
Better option

Scientists studying biological processes often use fluorescent tags that bind to biomolecules. This makes it relatively easy to track such molecules, even inside living cells. Quantum dots are a better option. They emit long-lasting, bright light, the colour of which depends on the size of the quantum dots used. For a number of reasons, including their toxicity, they were previously unsuitable for use in living organisms.

The researchers therefore developed an amphiphilic coating, i.e. one with both hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties. The "water hating" side of the polymer material attaches to the surface of the quantum dot. Its exposed hydrophilic side then makes the quantum dot/coating combination soluble in water. The coating builds up on the surface of the quantum dot through a process of self-assembly. The coating polymer has the added benefit that other molecules can be bound to it. Another important plus is that it does not adversely affect the quantum dot's light-emitting properties.

The study is a collaborative venture between the University of Twente's MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology and the A*STAR agency's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, in Singapore. It is headed by Professor Julius Vancso, Professor of Materials Science and Technology of Polymers at the University of Twente, who is also a visiting scientist at the Singapore institute.

The article entitled "Synthesis of functionalized amphiphilic polymers for coating quantum dots" by Dominik Jańczewski, Nikodem Tomczak, Ming-Yong Han and Julius Vancso appeared in the October edition of Nature Protocols. Copies are available on request.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
University of Twente
PO Box 217
7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Tel + 31 (0)53 489 9111
Fax + 31 (0)53 489 2000

Copyright © University of Twente

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

University of Minnesota engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip: Device could improve wireless communications systems November 28th, 2014

Study details laser pulse effects on behavior of electrons November 28th, 2014

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals November 28th, 2014

Production of Anticancer Drug from Nanofibers in Iran November 28th, 2014

Imaging

Renishaw receives Queen's Award for spectroscopy developments November 25th, 2014

A*STAR SIMTech wins international award for breaking new ground in actuators: SIMTech invention can be used in an array of industries, and is critical for next generation ultra-precision systems November 24th, 2014

Professional AFM Images with a Three Step Click SmartScan by Park Systems Revolutionizes Atomic Force Microscopy by Automatizing the Imaging Process November 24th, 2014

Characterization of X-ray flashes open new perspectives in X-ray science: Ultra-short X-ray pulses explore the nano world November 24th, 2014

Discoveries

University of Minnesota engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip: Device could improve wireless communications systems November 28th, 2014

Study details laser pulse effects on behavior of electrons November 28th, 2014

Production of Anticancer Drug from Nanofibers in Iran November 28th, 2014

The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers November 26th, 2014

Announcements

University of Minnesota engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip: Device could improve wireless communications systems November 28th, 2014

Study details laser pulse effects on behavior of electrons November 28th, 2014

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals November 28th, 2014

Production of Anticancer Drug from Nanofibers in Iran November 28th, 2014

Quantum Dots/Rods

UO-industry collaboration points to improved nanomaterials: University of Oregon microscope puts spotlight on the surface structure of quantum dots for designing new solar devices November 20th, 2014

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI), 2014, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1-24 October 22nd, 2014

QD Vision Wins Prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency October 16th, 2014

Ultrafast remote switching of light emission October 2nd, 2014

Research partnerships

Study details laser pulse effects on behavior of electrons November 28th, 2014

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals November 28th, 2014

SEMATECH to Showcase Innovation and Advances in Manufacturing at SEMICON Japan 2014: SEMATECH experts will share the latest techniques, emerging trends and best practices in advanced manufacturing strategies and methodologies November 26th, 2014

The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers November 26th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE