Bioimaging: quantum dots with fluorophore-like performance

Categorie(s) : MINATEC, News, Research

Published : 4 June 2021

Regular quantum dots are more stable under optical excitation than organic fluorophores; however, the dots cannot be used in biological environments because they can contain toxic metals like cadmium and lead. Several teams of researchers at Irig are putting their heads together to overcome this hurdle. They synthesized core-shell quantum dots that contain three non-toxic metals: silver, indium, and sulfur. Then, to enable the development of biosensors that emit in the near-infrared spectrum, they functionalized the shells with single-stranded DNA sequences.

The quantum dots are biocompatible and as good as the best fluorophores in terms of photoluminescence efficiency. A PhD research project slated for completion in 2023 is tackling further improvements to the synthesis process and biological use cases.


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