Oxonica Patents Nanotechnology Production Process

A novel technology for the production of biological labels or biolabels has recently been patented by UK nanomaterials company, Oxonica. The technology will be used to produce phosphor materials, which characteristically emit narrow wavelength colours.

The technology is intended for high throughput diagnostics in medicine and is designed to replace the luminescent organic dyes currently used. These dyes have the disadvantage that they unstable and fade quickly with time. Further only a single dye can be excited at a time leading to broad output spectrums, which are prone to change with time. These factors make the screening process difficult to automate.

The new nanomaterial based technology utilises emission properties of the nanosized materials. The patented technology is based around producing quantum dots in commercial quantities from an aqueous solution. It also does not require the use of inert atmospheres or post treatments in order to manufacture clear colours.

Oxonica’s materials have several advantages over the organic dyes such as: increased stability; the materials are based on non-toxic inorganic compounds; multi colour imaging is possible now, because all colours can be excited by a single wavelength; output colours are stable over time and; the screening process can be automated due to the sharp output spectrum of the nanoparticle biolabels, leading to high throughputs.

Posted April 2002

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