1. Center for Functional Nanomaterials Seminar

    "Rare-earth doped nanoparticles for biomedical imaging, diagnostics, and therapy"

    Presented by Dr. Brian G. Yust, Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Texas at San Antonio

    Friday, March 15, 2013, 1 pm
    Bldg 735, Conference Room B

    Hosted by: James Dickerson

    With the confluence of biology, chemistry, and physics now being a reality in many hot topics of research, nanoparticles are being translated into the realm of biomedicine as novel biomarkers, sensors, and therapeutic agents. In particular, rare-earth ions doped into fluoride, oxide, and oxysulfide nanocrystals exhibit extraordinary optical properties which are useful for biomedical applications including sharp absorption and emission lines in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) and long fluorescent lifetimes. Rare-earth based nanomaterials are advantageous as biomarkers because they do not photobleach like organic fluorophores, require lower power excitation sources, and do not blink such as quantum dots. In this talk, implementation of rare-earth based nanoparticles for in vitro and in vivo imaging will be discussed as well as NIR activated photodynamic therapy. Specifically, through careful selection of the dopants and the nanocrystalline host, the emission profile and intensity can be optimized for NIR to visible upconversion imaging. Furthermore, the synthesis route for fabricating these materials can play an important role in how cells interact with the nanoparticles due to ligand caps and trace amounts of chemicals on their surfaces. Finally, the future of these materials as biomedical tools and the challenges remaining will also be discussed.