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Using Quantum Dots for Rapid Detection of Ebola Infections

Quantum dots (QD) are nanoparticles that have florescent properties. The QD's are covered in a polymer shell with protein embedded proteins which will target specific glycoproteins. Protien-Conjugated QD's can be used for rapid Ebola detection.

Photo of Shashwath Murthy
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Quantum dots (QD) are small semiconductors that have florescent properties. Several bio-imaging applications for QD currently exist, for instance, QD's have been used to detect the progression of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). QD synthesis and protien-conjugation is inexpensive and simple.QD's would be covered in a polymer shell with embedded protiens which will target and bind to the glycoproteins that are secreted by cells infected with the virus. Testing would be short and involve the collection a small blood sample that would be exposed it to the QD solution. If the sample retains QD's, it will glow when exposed to UV/IR light,  and indicate the presence of an Ebola infection. With enough support and resources, we can deploy testing kits at a fairly low cost and provide a more reliable test (as opposed to testing for a fever).

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This is a cool idea. I'd like to call attention to a low-cost instrument idea I just posted incase it's a useful detector for you: https://openideo.com/challenge/fighting-ebola/ideas/deploy-low-cost-real-time-pcr-machines-for-rapid-diagnostics

Right now we use blue excitation light but we could easily modify to be UV or IR. How do your quantum dots glow with IR excitation though? They glow further in the IR?

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