Zymera obtained rights to Life Technologies’ intellectual property related to quantum dots. The company will couple the Qdot® nanocrystals with its BRET-based technology to to create self-illuminating quantum dot products.
Zymera intends to use the developed products to improve in vivo imaging, biomarker discovery, tracing blood and lymphatic fluid flow, tracking cells, and other life science and biosensing applications.
These nanocrystals are nanometer size, fluorescent particles made of semiconductor materials that are invisible to the naked eye. These tiny particles emit intensely bright light when exposed to low-cost violet or UV light sources, displaying unique colors due to differences in size and composition.
Zymera’s self-illumination technology uses bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) to move light from a bioluminescent protein such as luciferase directly to quantum dots. The resulting BRET dots produce light without an external source of illumination, eliminating auto fluorescence background and the need for external light sources.
As a result, it is possible to visualize targets deeper in tissue sections or living animals and to identify multiple targets at the same time with a wider variety of detection devices, according to Zymera.
“This agreement enables Life Technologies to work with Zymera to expand the applications of our quantum dot technology portfolio beyond fluorescence into bioluminescence, which will enable our entry into new markets,” remarks Mark Stevenson, president and COO at Life Technologies.