Kits for Converting Nanocrystals to Standard Bio-Medical Reagents

Period of Performance: 09/01/2007 - 08/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanomaterials and Nanofabrication Labs
PO. Box 2168
Fayetteville, AR 72702
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This SBIR Phase II program intends to develop the second generation of semiconductor nanocrystals (q-dots) based bio-medical labels to eliminate the usage of toxic cadmium element, to be physically permeable, and to not possess any self-quenching of the photoluminescence. This will be realized by a new invention, bright nanocrystal emitters based on doped non- cadmium semiconductor nanocrystals (d-dots), and the dendron-nanocrystal technology developed in the Phase I. NN-Labs has the exclusive patent rights for both key technologies. To accomplish this Phase II program, a balanced team in technology and business is assembled, with the original inventors, the scientists at NN-Labs and Professor Xiaogang Peng's group at the University of Arkansas (subcontractor), as the R&D team, Professor Shawn Chen at Stanford School of Medicine as the Medical Partner, Sigma-Aldrich as the Marketing Partner, and ImmunoVision (a subsidiary at Arkansas of IVAX diagnostics) as the Strategic Partner. D-dot labels possess nearly all advantages of q-dot labels in comparison to traditional fluorescent labels. Q-dot labels are currently developed for diagnostics and other types of bio- medical detection worldwide. However, the workhorse, cadmium selenide and related q-dots, is problematic. For example, European Union will start to ban any new products containing intentionally added in this summer. This major challenge will be nicely solved by d-dots technology, which relies on tunable emissions of doping centers in zinc based semiconductor nanocrystals. This unique fluorescence mechanism makes d-dots have zero self-quenching and thermally stable, which is an intrinsic problem for both organic dyes and q-dot labels. The unique emission mechanism and the dendron-nanocrystal technology reduce the total size of d- dot labels to that of a typical protein (a few nanometers), which is substantially smaller than the current standard products of q-dots labels, several tens of nanometers in size. Although q-dot technologies are currently pursued by companies worldwide, the unique patent position of NN-Labs on d-dot dendron-nanocrystals will likely place United States in front of other competitors in this promising industry field. Such opportunities are needed for the State of Arkansas to meet its long term mission, to develop this traditionally rural state to a knowledge- based and environmentally benign industry harbor.