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QMC Develops High Brightness Tetrapod Quantum Dots

At a quantum yield greater than 80 percent, the II-VI dots are bright enough to be utilised as novel probes into not fully understood biological systems
Quantum Materials Corporation (QMC) has developed tetrapod quantum dots with a quantum yield greater than 80 percent.


This brightness increases the performance of this fluorescent marker alternative in biological assays and other applications.


Millions of laboratory tests and biological assays are conducted every year to explore cellular processes. QMC has now developed II-VI based tetrapod quantum dots, improved fluorescent markers that can more effectively gain knowledge of how body systems function and chronic conditions and diseases such as cancer metabolise and impact health and longevity.





QMC Tetrapod quantum dot


The semiconductor materials used by QMC include CdSe.


Conventionally, fluorescent tags or tracers have been used to "light up" and distinguish one type of cell from another to gain these insights into biological functions. However, these tags and other dyes have drawbacks to use, including quick fading and tedious procedures to differentiate more than one type of cell or bio-molecule at a time.


The discovery of quantum dots as a fluorescent marker has made these biochemical assays quicker and more robust for scientific discovery. The quantum dots are proving to be more stable and have a unique capability to shine in multiple colours under a single light source excitation so that a single assay can produce much more information for researchers.


QMC has now increased the brightness of its tetrapod-shaped quantum dots for this application. At a quantum yield greater than 80 percent, the dots are bright enough to be functionalised in a wide variety of ways to perform as novel probes into as-of-yet-not-fully-understood biological systems. This functionalisation typically will allow researchers to modify the base quantum dot so that a biological tag can be made with an appropriate protein or antibody for a very specific marking within the laboratory sample.


Quantum Materials' CEO Stephen Squires notes, "We believe that the brightness of our Tetrapod Quantum Dots along with other unique features, will give key players in the pharmaceutical and biological industries a much awaited, high performance tool to dig in deeper to the mysteries of physiological conditions that have eluded efforts for cures."


In combination with Quantum Materials use of high throughput microreactor technology the production of the high quantum yield, bright quantum dots will potentially enable the millions of annual assays to expand significantly in number and provide desperately needed information to be quickly available to the world's leading researchers.


In addition to the performance increases for biomedical applications, Quantum Materials believes that the technology breakthrough will also enable its subsidiary, Solterra Renewable Materials to increase conversion efficiencies for its thin-film quantum dot solar cell. With advances in the solar cell, QMC expects to then apply insight gained in the added performance to other quantum dot applications such as LED lighting and displays.


 




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