Nanotech illuminates bioresearch
The 'Study of coherent non-linear optical response of nanoparticles and application to multiphoton imaging in cell biology' (FWMIMAGING) project set out to develop a multiphoton microscopy technique. At the same time, researchers tried to determine if this could be applied in cell biology where some problems call for sensitive three-dimensional imaging. This novel technique is based on detecting a resonant and clear non-linear optical response (four-wave mixing (FWM)) of colloidal quantum dots for their use as bio-labels. Colloidal semiconductor quantum dots have attracted great interest for their potential use in optoelectronic instruments. This new method retains the advantages of fluorescence imaging but goes one better by offering coherent detection without the interference of a fluorescent background. FWMIMAGING succeeded in developing the multiphoton microscopy technique for cell imaging, and demonstrated its applicability to cell microscopy. This and other project advances made in imaging techniques will impact both the physics and bioscience communities. The new imaging modality will help address challenging biomedical problems and contribute to medical applications, improving disease diagnosis and treatment.