Samsung Electronics’ quantum dot, known as a new television material, is catching on as a future medical technology. In particular, quantum dot (QD)-based protein can accurately detect cancer cells in the body, attracting high expectations that is able to conquer cancer, a challenge that the people has thus far considered impossible.
According to industry sources on May 8, Raymond Kurzweil, one of the world's leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, recently predicted that humans will be extending their lives considerably and or even indefinitely by 2029 thanks to nanorobots. He said that cell-sized nanobots will directly remove cancer cells and treat serious diseases, including arteriosclerosis, inside of the body.
Quantum dots are recently attracting the most attention among nano technologies as different sized quantum dots emit different color light without changing materials. For domestic medical sector, a study on quantum dots is jointly carried out by Kim Sung-jee, a professor of the Chemistry department at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), and Myung Seung-jae, chief director of Biomedical Research Center at Asan Institute for Life Sciences.
Professor Kim said, “When combining protein which clings to cancer cells and quantum dots, it can be used to seek out cancer cells in the body. Even if it is the same type of cancers, it is almost impossible to isolate cancer cells with protein alone due to variation of patients and cancer location. However, quantum dots can emit not only various colors from blue to red but also different infrared wavelengths by just changing the particle sizes. If you use different colors of quantum dots, you can look at a wide range of protein movements at the same time and accurately isolate cancer cells.”
Director Myung, who works at the clinical field and transitional research, also said, “The study was released in March that it injected anti-cancer drugs with quantum dots into animals with cancer cells and attacked only cancer cells. When quantum dots meet cancer cells, they detect the change of potential of hydrogen (pH) and anti-cancer drugs, which disengage from them, attack only cancer cells.”
Kim and Myung jointly studied on the hypersensitive cancer detection method to diagnose colorectal cancer by combining three types of antibodies for colorectal cancer with quantum dots, injecting them into animals with cancer and scanning their fluorescent images.
In regard to the research, Myung said, “About 25 percent of tumors still cannot be diagnosed with existing methods using fluorescent molecules or enzymes. This is because the vitality of fluorescent molecules or enzymes can change according to external conditions, such as temperature and humidity, and it is difficult to store them for a long time. On the other hand, quantum dots have the excellent stability of lights and they make easier to create credible self-diagnosis kits. It doesn’t adversely affect patients and it is more useful when patients have abnormal conditions.”
Quantum dots can also be used in various sectors that need accurate color expression as well as medical technology. Samsung Electronics has released a premium SUHD TV with Quantum dot display which provides improved color accuracy.
In addition, quantum dots are basically nano-crystal semiconductors so its studies related to energy efficiency in the electronics sector are also conducted. They include high efficiency quantum dot battery which can replace with existing silicone solar batteries.