Premiere scientific research journal Science Magazine, has named quantum dot bio-imaging technology one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs of the year. The magazine described the breakthrough as “…the most exciting new technique to emerge from the collaboration of physicists and biologists.” During 2003, several landmark studies were performed with Quantum Dot Corporation’s Qdot™ products, nanoscale particles that light up biological events in a range of sharp colors. The editors predict quantum dot technology will, in the future, “answer some tough questions” for scientists.
Science recognized French researchers for their work using Quantum Dot Corporation’s (QDC) Qdot nanocrystals for neuronal imaging. The researchers used QDC’s Qdot nanocrystals to track individual glycine receptors in living neuronal cells, revealing the workings of the human nervous system more clearly than ever before. Detailed understanding of these fundamental mechanisms will lead to much improved drugs for a range of diseases such as depression and schizophrenia.
“We are pleased that our work has been welcomed with such a positive response,” said Dr. Maxime Dahan, from the Ecole Nationale Superieure, Paris, France and the lead author of the study that was published in October’s Science. “I think this is a critical moment for the study of cellular imaging, when researchers are just beginning to fully grasp the potential of the use of quantum dots. I’m certain our experiments are only the first demonstrations of a full range of things that have now been made possible.”
Also referenced by Science is the work performed by Dr. Dan Larson and colleagues in the laboratory of Prof. Watt W. Webb, Cornell University’s S.B. Eckert Professor of Engineering and leader of the experimental imaging team at Cornell. In this study, scientists used Qdot nanocrystals for deep tissue imaging in living animals. The quantum dots allowed researchers to view the blood flow of mice, glowing beneath the skin. The molecular-sized nanocrystals allowed such fine-grain imaging that scientists could see the vessel walls ripple with each heart beat – 640 times per minute.
“Our collaboration with Dr. Larson and the Webb group is the first step in the use of Qdot nanotechnology for optical imaging inside live animals. Longer term, we see the application of these techniques leading to dramatic improvements in a doctor’s ability to perform human surgery much more precisely,” stated Dr. Marcel Bruchez, QDC principal scientist, and a co-author of the Science study with the Cornell team.
QDC launched its first bio-imaging product just one year ago, and now markets a growing portfolio of products to a rapidly expanding base of over 1,000 scientific customers worldwide. In January 2003, QDC and Genentech scientists jointly published work describing the use of quantum dots in ultra-sensitive breast cancer detection. In August, QDC announced a major strategic initiative with Matsushita/Panasonic for the development of bio-systems for Qdot nanocrystal detection – the first of these bio-system products is scheduled for launch in early 2004.
“Recognition by Science is a testament to the hard work of our scientists, and the resourcefulness of our customers and collaborators,” said Carol Lou, president of QDC. “This has been an incredibly successful year for us. To receive such prestigious recognition after such a short time in the marketplace is astounding. We look forward to continuing our mission to revolutionize biological detection during 2004.”