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November 23, 2021 Tuesday 11:44:25 AM IST

Quantum Dots can be Improvised in Tracking Biochemical Pathways of a Drug

Technology Inceptions

Quantum dots can not only be used in Television screen but also for precision applications it can be used for significant results.

Quantum dots are tiny particles which are made of semiconductor material with a bandgap between the energy levels of its electrons. When the quantum dots gain energy from light falling on them, electrons inside the dots can jump to a higher energy band and energy is released in the form of a photon when they return to their previous energy level. The frequency of this light can determine its colour, and can be tuned by selecting the shapes and dimensions of the dots. Besides display screens, quantum dots have potential for uses as solar cells, transistors, lasers, and quantum information devices. 

But these quantum dots when used in tracking biochemical pathways of a drug as it interacts with living cells was difficult since it tended to blink off at random intervals. MIT chemists found a solution for this problem. The new technique does not require any modification to the formulation or the manufacturing process. This is made possible by firing a beam of mid-infrared laser light for a short moment i.e., a trillionths of a second, and the quantum dot’s blinking is purged for a relatively longer period. This makes quantum dots precise for its use especially in tracking medicinal pathways or tumours.