Home Previous TOC Next Bookshelf

15. Quantum Dots Can Find Cancer Signatures

Quantum Dots Can Find Cancer Signatures


To detect cancer, scientists can design quantum dots that bind to sequences of DNA that are associated with the disease. When the quantum dots are stimulated with light, they emit their unique bar codes, or labels, making the critical, cancer-associated DNA sequences visible.

The diversity of quantum dots will allow scientists to create many unique labels, which can identify numerous regions of DNA simultaneously. This will be important in the detection of cancer, which results from the accumulation of many different changes within a cell.

Another advantage of quantum dots is that they can be used in the body, eliminating the need for biopsy.