Nanoco nanomaterials offer the potential for important new bio-imaging applications

As medical technology becomes ever more sophisticated, nanomaterials will have a crucial role to play. Nanoco is at the forefront of putting them to work in this sensitive yet high-value arena.

Nanoco’s technology is heavy-metal free and because of this it can be used for in-vivo diagnostics, opening up new areas of clinical and surgical opportunities.

Tracing malign cells

Working with various universities and research institutions, Nanoco scientists are looking into new ways to use nanotechnology to deliver better, more targeted treatment.

One aspect is diagnostics: the ability to identify the illness or disorder in a patient. Using quantum dots, diagnostic processes that use in vitro analysis, such as in a test tube, could potentially be undertaken more quickly, easily and less intrusively through in vivo analysis - within a living body. Most quantum dots cannot be used in this way, owing to their toxic heavy-metal content. But NANOCO quantum dots, being soluble and cadmium-free, could be injected harmlessly.

Similarly, they represent a significant improvement over the fluorescent dyes currently injected by surgeons to decide where exactly to cut. Whereas the conventional dyes remain active for only a short period of time before being washed away, Nanoco’s quantum dots extend that active life to over 15 minutes, enabling better informed decisions, and surgery no more extensive or intrusive than it absolutely needs to be.