triangulenium dyes sheds new light on illness and health

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by arauca, May 15, 2013.

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    From microscopes to MRI scanners, imaging technology is growing ever more vital in the world's hospitals, whether for the diagnosis of illness or for research into new cures. Imaging technology requires dyes or contrast agents of some sort. Current contrast agents and dyes are expensive, difficult to work with and far from ideal. Now, Danish chemists have discovered a new dye and proved its worth against any of the dyes currently available.

    Thomas Just Sørensen and Bo Wegge Laursen are chemists at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In a series of publications in well-regarded scientific publications, they have shown that the aza-oxa-trangulenium dyes have the potential to outperform all fluorescent dyes currently used in imaging.

    IMAGE: Emission intensity images of human breast cancer cells, contrasting triangulenium dyes and the state-of-the-art long emission lifetime dyes. Where the state-of-the-art has completely stopped emitting at 30 ns, triangulenium still...

    Visual noise blocks correct diagnosis

    It might seem odd, but one of the central challenges when taking pictures of cells and organs, is to avoid noise. The agents that make it possible to see microscopic biological structures are luminescent, but then, so is tissue. Consequently, the contrast agent's light risks being overpowered by "light noise". Just as the dial and hands of a watch might glow-in-the-dark, tissue becomes luminescent when exposed to light. Tissue and other organic structures luminesce, or lights up, for 10 nanoseconds after exposure to light. The light-life of an ordinary dye is the same – 10 nanoseconds. But triangulenium dyes produce light for an entire 100 nanoseconds.

    The long life of the triangulenium dyes means that an image can be produced without background noise. Furthermore, the extra 90 nanoseconds opens the possibility of filming living images of the processes occurring within cells, for example when a drug attacks an illness.

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