Nanomaterials for applications as biological fluorescent probes(Prof C S Lee)

Biomedical imaging using fluorescent probes is very important for modern clinical diagnosis. In fact the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to the development of green fluorescent protein for application as fluorescent probes. Conventional fluorescent probes are typically based on fluorescent dyes which often have problems of photo-bleaching and not suitable for long-term imagining applications. Quantum dots of CdSe and CdTe have also been used as high brightness fluorescent probes. However, these materials have high toxicity and thus not biocompatible.

This projects aims as developing high performance fluorescent probes using one of the following nanomaterials according to the studentís own choice: (1) organic small molecule; (2) silicon and (3) carbon quantum dots. Silicon and carbon are generally non-toxic and highly biocompatible. On the other hand, organic quantum dots can be fabricated from a wide variety of fluorescent molecules of low toxicity. The quantum dots with different compositions and sizes will be prepared for optimized optical properties. The synthesized quantum dots will also be coated with different layers for (1) projection against various biological environments; (2) improved water dispersibility and (3) easy conjugation to various biological molecules. Performance of the quantum dots will be characterized and optimized for in vitro/ vivo imaging.

Supervisor: Prof C S Lee (;; )

Suitable for: Ph.D.