The drive to understand biology and medicine at the molecular level with accurate quantitation demands much of current high-throughput analysis systems. Nanomaterials and nanotechnology combined with modern instrumentation have the potential to address this emerging challenge. Using a variety of nanomaterials for multiplex diagnostics and imaging applications will offer sensitive, rapid and cost-effective solutions for the modern clinical laboratory. New nanomaterials, i.e. metallic nanoparticles labelled with plasmonically enhanced fluorescent metal complexes, will be developed to achieve optical-encoding capabilities for selective tagging of a wide range of medically important targets, including bacteria, cancer cells and individual molecules, such as proteins and DNA, in a single assay. We envision further development in this field will provide numerous advanced tools with increased sensitivity and improved multiplexing capability, for unique applications in molecular biology, genomics and drug discovery. To achieve these ambitious goals will require the synthesis of a variety of luminescent and redox active metal complexes, nanoparticles and polyelectrolytes for encapsulation. It should be noted that the basic science proposed in this application will lead to a “platform” technology finding diverse applications in areas such as new forms of renewable energies (hydrogen storage for fuel cells), display devices and sensors for individual analytes.
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