Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Timing is everything in new nanotechnology for medicine, security and research

J. Paul Robinson
J. Paul Robinson

Abstract:


Tunable Lifetime Multiplexing Using Luminescent Nanocrystals

Yiqing Lu, Jiangbo Zhao, Run Zhang, Yujia Liu, Deming Liu, Ewa M. Goldys, Xusan Yang, Peng Xi, Anwar Sunna, Jie Lu, Yu Shi, Robert C. Leif, Yujing Huo, Jian Shen, James A. Piper, J. Paul Robinson and Dayong Jin

Optical multiplexing plays an important role in applications such as optical data storage, document security, molecular probes and bead assays for personalized medicine. Conventional fluorescent color coding is limited by spectral overlap and background interference, restricting the number of distinguishable identities. Here we show that tunable luminescent lifetimes (t) in the microsecond region can be exploited to code individual upconversion nanocrystals. In a single color band, one can generate more than 10 nanocrystal populations having distinct lifetimes ranging from 25.6 microseconds to 662.4 microseconds, and decode their well-separated lifetime identitites, which are independent from either colors or intensities. Such "t-Dots" potentially suit multi-channel bioimaging, high-throughput cytometry quantification, high-density data storage, as well as security codes to combat counterfeiting. This demonstration extends the optical multiplexing capability by adding the temporal dimension of luminescent signals, opening new opportunities in the life sciences, medicine and data security.

Timing is everything in new nanotechnology for medicine, security and research

West Lafayette, IN | Posted on December 16th, 2013

Researchers working to advance imaging useful to medicine and security are capitalizing on the same phenomenon behind the lingering "ghost" image that appeared on old television screens.

A team of researchers from Purdue University and Macquarie University in Sydney has created a way to control the length of time light from a luminescent nanocrystal lingers, adding a new dimension of time to color and brightness in optical detection technology.

Detection based on the lifetime of the light as well as its specific color, or wavelength, exponentially boosts the number of different combinations that can be created and used as unique signatures, or tags, for biomedical screens. Screens based on this new technology could identify thousands of different target molecules simultaneously, far surpassing the current limits of such screens to roughly 20 different molecules.

"These nanocrystals can form combination codes, like barcodes, to form a vast library of distinguishable molecular probes, which can be used for complex diagnostics," said Dayong Jin, the professor of photonics at Macquarie who led the research. "They could be used for screening tests that can more quickly and accurately identify the cause of infection, residue cancers at an early stage and locate the specific molecular targets for targeted drug therapies."

In addition, light emitted by the new nanocrystals far outlasts that which occurs naturally in biological systems, called autofluorescence. That difference in timing distinctly separates the signal from background noise, said J. Paul Robinson, the professor of cytomics in Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine and professor in Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering who helped lead the study over the last four years.

"The photons emitted by these nanocrystals last 1,000 times longer than the photons emitted by biological systems that cause background noise," said Robinson, who also is director of the Purdue Cytometry Laboratories. "The nanocrystal photons remain, just like the photons that created the 'ghost' images on old television screens that would linger after you turned off the set. A similar phenomenon is happening in these nanocrystals. We can capture this signal after the others have gone dark and obtain incredible resolution."

The team's work is detailed in a paper that will be published in the next issue of Nature Photonics and is currently available online.

Jin led the design and manufacture of the nanoparticles, which the researchers named t-Dots. Robinson led the concept development and biological testing of the detection technology.

Robinson's research focuses on flow cytometry, the analysis of cells that are contained in a liquid flowing past a laser beam. The research team built a time-resolved scanning cytometry system that was able to evaluate the lifetime of the light emitted as well as color and capture the t-Dot signals.

"Particles containing these t-Dots can be easily tailored to bind different antibodies," Robinson said. "A small and portable system could be created to probe for multiple pathogens at once in beverages or food."

The research team successfully layered the nanocrystals with a specific sequence of lifetimes within individual t-Dots to create unique signatures and successfully bound a protein to the t-Dots allowing them to seek out and bind to Giardia lamblia, he said.

Robinson next plans to refine designs of flow cytometry instruments that can read the t-Dot signatures and to explore the biomedical applications of new detection tools.

"Flow cytometry is a diagnostic tool that is used in a variety of applications from health care to homeland security," Robinson said. "It can analyze blood and urine to diagnose disease, or can analyze a sample taken from a surface or the air mixed with water to detect food-borne pathogens or chemical agents. With the t-Dot 'nano-tags,' we have the ability to screen for many targets at once, and only one small volume of sample will be needed to glean a vast amount of information in a very short amount of time."

The nanocrystals are tiny clusters of sodium, yttrium and fluoride ions with added trace amounts of ions of ytterbium and the blue-emitting rare earth element thulium. The ytterbium ion serves as a trigger to the reaction that controls the thulium fluorescence, and the researchers controlled the length of time this light is emitted by varying the distance between the two.

When a laser strikes a nanocrystal it triggers a reaction that leads to the emission of a photon at a visible wavelength, or a burst of visible light.

The t-Dots also could be used to create invisible and nearly impossible to forge marks on documents, items or currency as an anti-counterfeit measure, said Yiqing Lu, a senior Macquarie University Research Fellow in Photonics.

"By applying t-Dots to any surface, we can leave a secret message or mark on any product, which will only be revealed by a specially designed scanner," Lu said. "This has huge potential in confirming the authenticity of any product, from pharmaceutical drugs to medical courier supplies."

The research team at Macquarie is investigating this application as well as the ability to layer the t-Dots to create higher density data storage, he said.

In addition to Jin, Lu and Robinson, paper co-authors include Jiangbo Zhao, Run Zhang, Yujia Liu, Deming Liu, Ewa M. Goldys, Jie Lu, Anwar Sunna, Yu Shi and James A. Piper of Macquarie; Xusan Yang and Peng Xi of Peking University; Robert C. Leif of Newport Instruments; Yujing Huo of Tsinghua University; and Jian Shen of Olympus Australia.

An ARC Discovery Grant led by Piper and Jin at the Macquarie Advanced Cytometry Labs funded this work.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Writer:
Elizabeth Gardner
765-494-2081


Media contact
Macquarie University:
Amy Macintyre
02-9850-4051


Sources:
J. Paul Robinson
765-494-0757


Dayong Jin
+61 2 98504168


Yiqing Lu
+61 2 98504169

Copyright © Purdue University

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

The next generation of carbon monoxide nanosensors May 26th, 2016

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Attosecond physics: A switch for light-wave electronics May 24th, 2016

Imaging

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

More light on cancer: Scientists created nanoparticles to highlight cancer cells May 21st, 2016

Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique: Rice University researchers use spectral triangulation to pinpoint location of tumors May 21st, 2016

Law enforcement/Anti-Counterfeiting/Security/Loss prevention

A better hologram for fraud protection and wearable optics: Nanotechnology improves holographic capabilities by encoding light polarization May 16th, 2016

Russian scientists develop long-range secure quantum communication system April 13th, 2016

New laser technique promises super-fast and super-secure quantum cryptography April 7th, 2016

Record-breaking steel could be used for body armor, shields for satellites April 7th, 2016

Nanomedicine

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

Nanoscale Trojan horses treat inflammation May 24th, 2016

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Tiny packages may pack powerful treatment for brain tumors: Nanocarrier provides efficient delivery of chemotherapeutic drug May 23rd, 2016

Discoveries

The next generation of carbon monoxide nanosensors May 26th, 2016

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Announcements

The next generation of carbon monoxide nanosensors May 26th, 2016

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

The next generation of carbon monoxide nanosensors May 26th, 2016

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Tools

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

More light on cancer: Scientists created nanoparticles to highlight cancer cells May 21st, 2016

Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique: Rice University researchers use spectral triangulation to pinpoint location of tumors May 21st, 2016

Carnegie Mellon develops bio-mimicry method for preparing and labeling stem cells: Method allows researchers to prepare mesenchymal stem cells and monitor them using MRI May 19th, 2016

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Common nanoparticle has subtle effects on oxidative stress genes May 11th, 2016

Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops May 1st, 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Presents Preclinical Data on Renal Cell Carcinoma Program at AACR 2016 April 19th, 2016

'Honeycomb' of nanotubes could boost genetic engineering April 7th, 2016

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Attosecond physics: A switch for light-wave electronics May 24th, 2016

Photon collisions: Photonic billiards might be the newest game! May 20th, 2016

Well Leave the Lights On For You: Photonics advances allow us to be seen across the universe, with major implications for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, says UC Santa Barbara physicist Philip Lubin - See more at: http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2016/016805/we-ll-leave-li May 17th, 2016

UW researchers unleash graphene 'tiger' for more efficient optoelectronics May 16th, 2016

Research partnerships

The next generation of carbon monoxide nanosensors May 26th, 2016

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Mille-feuille-filter removes viruses from water May 19th, 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