Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

Imaging

New Argonne coating could have big implications for lithium batteries May 14th, 2019

Better microring sensors for optical applications May 10th, 2019

Scientists explore the unknown behaviour of gold nanoparticles with neutrons April 23rd, 2019

From 2D to 1D: Atomically quasi '1D' wires using a carbon nanotube template: New bulk synthesis method for nanowires of molybdenum telluride for nanoelectronics April 19th, 2019

Law enforcement/Anti-Counterfeiting/Security/Loss prevention

CEA-Leti Builds Prototype of Next-Generation Mid-Infrared Optical Sensors for Portable Devices: Coin-size, On-chip Sensors that Combine High Performance and Low Power Consumption Presented in Paper at SPIE Photonics West 2019 February 5th, 2019

A bullet-proof heating pad November 2nd, 2018

Biomimetic micro/nanoscale fiber reinforced composites August 10th, 2018

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Nanomedicine

Better microring sensors for optical applications May 10th, 2019

New efficient way to engineer nanostructures mimicking natural immune response complexes: Novel method to engineer large multi-antibody-like nanostructures using DNA nanotechnology; the results demonstrate the potential for assembly of multiple proteins and also other materials t May 10th, 2019

Nanotubes enable travel of Huntington's protein: Rhes protein makes its own road to convey disease drivers May 10th, 2019

A cautionary tale for researchers working on selective drug delivery May 9th, 2019

Discoveries

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

CEA-Leti Develops CMOS Process for High-Performance MicroLEDs That Could Overcome Display-Size Obstacles: New Concept Creates All-in-One RGB MicroLEDs, Eliminates Several Transfer Steps to Receiving Substrate & Boosts Performance May 16th, 2019

Announcements

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

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

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

Tools

New Argonne coating could have big implications for lithium batteries May 14th, 2019

Nanoscale thermometers from diamond sparkles: A novel, non-invasive technique that uses quantum light to measure temperature at the nanoscale has been developed May 3rd, 2019

Sculpting Super-Fast Light Pulses: NIST Nanopillars Shape Light Precisely for Practical Applications May 3rd, 2019

Nanometrics Announces Participation in Upcoming Investor Conferences May 3rd, 2019

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

How slippery surfaces allow sticky pastes and gels to slide: Engineered surface treatment developed at MIT can reduce waste and improve efficiency in many processes April 23rd, 2019

Gold nanoparticles to facilitate in-situ detection of amplified DNA at room temperature March 21st, 2019

A Deep tech startup is disrupting dairy industry in Chennai Demo Day at IIT-Madras Research Park February 20th, 2019

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Sculpting Super-Fast Light Pulses: NIST Nanopillars Shape Light Precisely for Practical Applications May 3rd, 2019

2D borophene gets a closer look: Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material April 11th, 2019

New hybrid energy method could fuel the future of rockets, spacecraft for exploration: Nontraditional route shown to increase performance, burn rate April 9th, 2019

Nanoscribe is Technology Partner of the Research Project MiLiQuant: 3D microfabrication meets quantum technology - Miniaturized light sources for industrial use in the fields of quantum sensor technology and quantum imaging April 1st, 2019

Research partnerships

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New Argonne coating could have big implications for lithium batteries May 14th, 2019

Sculpting Super-Fast Light Pulses: NIST Nanopillars Shape Light Precisely for Practical Applications May 3rd, 2019

Exploring New Ways to Control Thermal Radiation April 29th, 2019

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