SBIR Phase I: Manufacture of Brightly Luminescent Carbon Quantum Dots

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0839684
Agency Tracking Number: 0839684
Amount: $137,500.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: NSF 08-548
Small Business Information
Selah Technologies, LLC
657 South Mechanic Street, Pendleton, SC, 29670
DUNS: 791538767
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Metters
 (864) 646-5888
Business Contact
 Andrew Metters
Title: PhD
Phone: (864) 646-5888
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project tests a new robust and scalable route to manufacture Selah Dots(TM), a biologically and environmentally benign and competitive alternative to heavy metal based quantum dot imaging agents. Selah Dots(TM) exhibit strong photoluminescence in the visible and near-infrared regions and offer significant advantages over traditional fluorescent dyes for a variety of in vitro diagnostic applications. The innovation in this work will allow the commercial production of these benign and photoluminescent core-shell nanoparticles with characteristics that meet or exceed the performance criteria of existing fluorescent dyes and heavy metal based quantum dots. These innovative materials will provide the following performance benefits over competing imaging products for in vitro diagnostic assays: i.) improved signal sensitivity (including capability for sensitive multiphoton microscopy), ii.) improved detection specificity, iii.) improved biocompatibility, and iv.) physicochemical and photochemical stability. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to produce Selah Dots which will provide highly consistent performance levels comparable to expensive semiconductor quantum dots at substantially lower price levels competitive with traditional organic dyes. The global market for in-vitro diagnostics (IVDs) is estimated to exceed $40 billion by 2010. Selah Dots will first find market acceptance to three sub-segments of the IVD market: immunoassays, molecular diagnostics, and histology/cytology. The addressable market in these segments for the Selah Dots technology is projected to be $2.2 billion in 2010. A biological imaging agent made from Selah Dots will improve the detection sensitivity and specificity of important in vitro diagnostic tests. Higher sensitivity will promote earlier detection of diseases; higher specificity will lower overall diagnostic costs by eliminating the need for complex and time-consuming preparatory steps; and an imaging agent made with a carbon core instead of heavy metals will mitigate the potential environmental impacts posed by the commercial adoption of traditional quantum dots.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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