Quantum Dot Processing
Semiconductor nanocrystals, or quantum dots (QDs) have received great interest from the biological and medical communities in the last few years. This interest can be largely attributed to the unique optical and electronic properties of QDs and their advantageous properties over organic-based fluorophores for many biological applications. QDs have high luminescence (1 QD = 10 to 20 fluorophores), high resistance to photobleaching, narrow spectral linewidths, and size and materials-tunable emission that can be excited using one single wavelength. A major hurdle in the use of QDs for biological imaging and detection is the non-biocompatible surface coating.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a simple approach for the mass-scale and cost effective preparation of biocompatible QDs. These QDs maintain all of the optical and dimensional properties of their organic coated counterpart. They have also characterized the optical properties of these QDs in biologically relevant environments and demonstrated the ability to conjugate biomolecules onto their surface.
This invention provides a cost-effective way to manufacture biocompatible QDs in a powdered format, which simplifies the storage and conjugation of QDs. The stability and optical properties of LM-QDs in various biologically important conditions have been analyzed and displayed optimum conditions for the use of QDs in biological application. Also, this technique may provide an easy approach to activate the surface of QDs for bioonjugation.
A US patent has been issued.
The Innovations Group is seeking licensees with interests in specific applications of this novel process.
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