(Medical.net) Recent international collaboration between the Japanese National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski in Bulgaria led to a novel quantum sensor.
According to lead scientist Dr. Rumiana Bakalova and her colleague Dr. Ichio Aoki of QST, “the new sensor is appropriate for the early diagnosis of pathologies accompanied by inflammation, such as infectious diseases, cancer, neurodegeneration, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and kidney dysfunction.”
The sensor comprises a quantum dot–semiconductor–core coated with a ring-shaped sugar-like compound called α-cyclodextrin, which in turn is bonded to six redox-sensitive chemical groups called nitroxide derivatives. These components have the advantage of favorable safety profiles, with cyclodextrins being approved for use in food and nitroxide derivatives being considered generally harmless for living beings due to their antioxidant properties.
The nitroxide derivatives cause the sensor to give ON fluorescence signals when in a reduced state and give ON magnetic signals when in an oxidized state. This allows for the detection of oxidative stress, or a reduced cell/tissue capacity, using methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electron paramagnetic imaging (EPR), which can detect magnetic signals.