Twinkling Quantum Dots May Be Useful For Medical Applications

The nanometer sized fragments of semiconductor absorb light and then radiate the absorbed energy in several different customizable colors.  Their twinkling is considered a result of quantum mechanical effects.  These nano-sized fragments are small enough to attach to and track molecules.  Although tracking molecules would be useful another of their characteristics may be more interesting.  When molecules which are tagged with two  different colors, red and green, come together and blink their proximity produces a third color, yellow.  This characteristic could provide more detailed insights into cellular biochemistry.

Another expected use is that of tracking fluid and nano-particle flow in microfluidic components.  The technology may be useful in researching fluid flow of molecularly complex biological samples in these extremely small channels and cavities.  The technology could be useful answering questions about mixing, separation and rate of diffusion between fluid streams in microfluid channels.

This technology was developed by Jessica Winter, and Gang Ruan at Ohio State Universities Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the Center for Emergent Materials.

OSU Research News article;

TWINKLE, TWINKLE, QUANTUM DOT – NEW PARTICLES CAN CHANGE COLORS AND TAG MOLECULES

Nano Letters Published Article;

Alternating-Color Quantum Dot Nanocomposites for Particle Tracking

Jessica Winter, and Gang Ruan Website;

Neural Nanoprobes and Prosthetic Devices

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