SBIR Phase I: Development of Cadmium-Free, Water-Soluble and Multicolor Quantum Dots by Chemical Doping

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0638169
Agency Tracking Number: 0638169
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-553
Small Business Information
Ocean NanoTech, LLC
700 Research Center Blvd, Suite 463, Fayetteville, AR, 72701
DUNS: 155516987
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Lin Song Li
 PhD
 (479) 444-6028
 lsli@oceannanotech.com
Business Contact
 Lin Song Li
Title: PhD
Phone: (479) 444-6028
Email: lsli@oceannanotech.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will synthesize cadmium-free, water-soluble, and multicolor quantum dots (QDs) by chemical doping, which can be used as fluorophores in the fields of biology and biomedicine. As the popularity of QD labeling soars, concerns are raised on the inherent toxicity of current widely used cadmium-based QDs. The easiness in tuning different emission colors has been a big advantage of cadmium-based QDs. However, for biomedical applications, the different particle sizes of QDs could influence their mobility in cells and tissues, and thus may reduce the diagnostic accuracy and sensitivity in multianalyte studies. This NSF SBIR Phase I program will synthesize cadmium free, water-soluble, and multicolor quantum dots (QDs) by chemical doping. The doped core/shell QDs will be synthesized first and then converted to water-soluble and biocompatible through proprietary methods for biomedical applications. In Phase I, this project will develop the techniques for the synthesis of proposed QDs and Phase II will scale up the synthesis for massive production. Commercially, QDs are considered as a new class of fluorescent probes with a broad range of applications including single molecule biophysics, biomolecular profiling, optical barcoding, and in vivo imaging. In comparison with organic dyes and fluorescent proteins, QDs have unique optical and electronic properties including size-tunable light emission, improved signal brightness, resistance against photobleaching, and simultaneous excitation of multiple fluorescence colors. Despite the fast growing need for biocompatible nanocrystals by biotech as well as academia, to date, only two other companies have launched commercial products in the markets. However, all their products are cadmium based and extremely expensive. Successful development of proposed techniques will result in a new generation of biolabels and make significant advances in the biomedical applications of QDs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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