Cornell, Quantum Dot report new imaging technique

June 2, 2003 – Quantum Dot Corp. and Cornell University have demonstrated a new approach to viewing tiny blood vessels of mice in vivid detail using quantum dots, according to a news release.

The work, published in the May 30 issue of the journal Science, involved illuminating capillaries using the quantum dots, or nanocrystals in a new technique called multi-photon microscopy. The molecular light-emitting diodes allow rapid and sensitive detection of biological interactions.

The quantum dots were injected through a vein in the mouse’s tail and capillaries through the fat layer around the ovaries. The researchers said imaging can be up to 1,000 times brighter in tissue than chemical labels currently used.

The technique could be useful for tracking cells and visualizing tissue structures deep inside living animals, and researchers mentioned studying cancerous tumors as one possible application. They are not recommending use in humans until they determine whether the nanocrystals are toxic. The mice used in the study are alive and apparently healthy months later, but they are being monitored for long-term effects, the release said.


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