Semiconductor Quantum Dots as Functional Materials for Bioapplications

Russ Algar – Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia

This presentation will outline some of our recent work toward the development of colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) as functional materials for biological applications such as point-of-care diagnostics, in vitro assays, and cellular sensing. As materials, QDs represent nanocale scaffolds for chemical functionalization and bioconjugation, and, by virtue of quantum size effects, have several highly advantageous optical properties for fluorescence-based sensing. The use of QDs as bright, spectrally optimized reporters for quantitative enzyme assays using smartphone cameras and paper substrates will be described, as will the design and characterization of concentric Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) configurations for developing multiplexed probes for enzyme activity. The important role of interfacial chemistry in determining the activity of enzymes at the surface of QDs will be highlighted in this context. Include its ability to accelerate and decelerate enzyme reactions. A brief overview of some current and future directions of group will conclude the presentation.