(LaserFocusWorld) Project BioSensing, a collaboration among two of Germany’s Fraunhofer institutes and Leiden University’s Institute of Physics (Leiden, Netherlands) was developed to overcome the limits of modern biosensors by applying quantum technology.
Project BioSensing focuses on a novel class of fluorescing biological nanomaterials called DNA-stabilized metal quantum clusters (QC-DNAs), which serve as “quantum biosensors.” In their simplest form, these biosensors consist of a short DNA sequence that encloses a group of six to 15 metal atoms (the so-called metal cluster). The choice of DNA sequence determines the characteristics of the sensor—for instance, which disease it is able to detect. The basic structure of a quantum biosensor can be extended by adding specific biomolecules, which can enable the detection of selected biomarkers. The fluorescence properties of the metal cluster enable reporting: When the target is detected, the light emitted by the metal clusters shifts wavelength. A significant advantage of the technology is cost-effective production.