Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


"Less is more": New diagnostics with nanometer-sized particles

As part of the EU 6th Framework Programme in the field of genomics and biotechnology for health, a new consortium "FLUOROMAG" coordinated by Dr. Donna Arndt-Jovin at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, will develop new diagnostic tools for use in tumor biology and the detection of very low levels of pandemic viruses.

Precise diagnosis is based on multiple end-points involving several tests with antibodies or DNA probes for particular biomolecules in a tumor or a virus.

Antibodies and DNA are usually labeled with different fluorescent dyes, generally requiring multiple modes of excitation and detection that can render the measurement slow and laborious. Advances in nanotechnology have led to the emergence of new fluorescent materials, semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) called "quantum dots", which can be excited by a single light source (wavelength) but that according to their size and composition emit in discrete and separated spectral bands.

The "multiplexing" of such probes is thereby greatly simplified. Scientists working in the Molecular Biology Dept. have shown that single quantum dots can be detected on and in living cells.

The project of the consortium has two elements. The first is the development of other classes of still smaller NPs, i.e. with sizes below 10 nm (less than a millionth of a cm): fluorescent noble-metal "nanodots" and magnetic NPs. These materials are superior to conventional fluorophores in that they exhibit extreme photo- and chemical stability. The nanodots should have reduced toxicity and greater target accessibility than quantum dots, yet offer a similar detection sensitivity. They will be derivatized and tested for specific recognition of biomolecules such as tumor markers (for breast cancer) and global viral disease (Hepatitis C and Dengue Fever). Other core-shell "onion-like" NPs developed by the partner in Santiago de Compostela have diverse and strong magnetic properties and will be tested for their application in micro-chip and MRI diagnostics.

In a parallel effort, several of the partners will optimize the design and performance of a new type of high-speed, sensitive, optically sectioning microscope known as the Programmable Array Microscope (PAM), for use in both the basic research and medical communities. The PAM is very versatile in that it implements many imaging modalities and has been under development in the Molecular Biology Dept. for the past 10 years. It has single-NP sensitivity, and is ideally suited for measurements of thick samples such as tissue slices and patterned arrays, important objects for diagnostic tests.

The FLUOROMAG consortium has been awarded € 2.5 million by the European Union for a period of 3 years. The research project leaders of the consortium are: Donna Arndt-Jovin (MPIbpc, Germany), Arturo López-Quintela (Univ. of Santiago de Compostela, Spain); Vinod Subramaniam (Univ. of Twente, The Netherlands); Quentin Hanley (Univ. of Nottingham Trent, UK). Two small businesses (SMEs) are included in the consortium; Nanogap Sub-nm-powder SA, Spain (Tatiana López del Rio) will produce the NPs in large scale and Cairn Research Ltd., UK (Martin Thomas) will produce and market the newest technical realizations of the PAM.

For further information, contact

Prof. Dr. Donna Arndt-Jovin, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Dept. Molecular Biology, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, Phone: +49 (0) 551 201 -1393, Fax: -1467, E-mail:

Dr. Joachim Bormann, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, EU Liaison Office, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Phone: +49 (0) 551 201 -1076, Fax: -1175, E-mail:

Dr. Christoph Nothdurft | idw
Further information:

Further reports about: Arndt-Jovin Biophysical CONSORTIUM Max Planck Institute NPS PAM Quantum quantum dots

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht ‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>