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STTR Phase I: Flexible Quantum Dot Light Emitting Devices for Photodynamic Therapy and Photobiomodulation
Phone: (518) 366-4410
Phone: (518) 366-4410
Contact: Yajie Dong
Type: Nonprofit College or University
The broader impact of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to enable a much wider adoption of various photomedical treatments. Broadly speaking, photomedical treatments use light to cure diseases and promote healing. Specifically, photodynamic therapy uses light to activate a photosensitizing chemical agent to kill cancer cells or bacterial with minimal side effects. Moreover, photobiomodulation is the application of light to impaired or dysfunctional tissue to reduce pain and inflammation to speed healing and to promote or inhibit various cellular processes. The light source is a critical part of any photomedical treatment system. Existing sources such as lasers and LED arrays are bulky and expensive, generally require additional optics to deliver the light to the target treatment areas. The current project aims to develop a photomedical treatment system based on a novel light source - quantum dot light emitting devices (QLEDs). Flexible and large area QLEDs can be placed immediately adjacent to target treatment areas without additional optics. Their simple driver requirements will result in much lower system costs and facilitate at-home use. These QLED-based systems will enable the wider adoption of photomedical treatment methodologies, including in currently underserved areas and patient populations. The proposed project will leverage the recent invention of ultra-bright quantum dot light emitting devices (QLEDs) into a low-cost and convenient-to-use photomedical treatment system that will enable wider adoption of photomedical treatment methodologies for a variety of pathologies and use cases. Project tasks include developing QLEDs with emitting spectra precisely tuned to match the absorption spectra of photosensitizers at 630 nanometers (nm), 635 nm and 660 nm; fabricating QLEDs on flexible substrates with device structures guided by microcavity simulations; developing a low DC voltage, current-controlled driver able to deliver a precise light dosage; and demonstrating the photomedical efficacy of thus developed QLEDs in a) ALA-PplX photodynamic therapy and associated dosimetry of oral malignancies using in-vitro 3D co-culture models of oral cancers; b) determining and optimizing parameters for photobiomodulation for wound healing applications including incisional and pressure ulcer wounds, in-vitro using multiple cell lines and models of cellular metabolism, cellular proliferation and scratch wound healing. Successful completion of these tasks will result in a functional preliminary photomedical treatment system that lays the foundation for in-vivo animal studies of oral cancer or diabetic wound healing treatment paradigms in Phase II of the project. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *