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Amongst various types of luminescent nanomaterials, the two that have attracted attention worldwide are: 1. Semiconductor
nanocrystals or quantum dots (QDs) and 2. Lanthanide based upconversion nanocrystals (UCNs). In semiconductor
nanoparticles, unique optical properties such as size dependent luminescence arise due to spatial confinement of the charge
carriers. In this talk, I would discuss the aqueous routes to obtain biocompatible, highly monodisperse and luminescent
nanocrystals. In the synthetic methodology developed by us, the nanoparticles were capped with amino acids, thiols and
dendrimers which impart stability, functionality and determine the solubility of these particles. The temporal evolution of these
surface-functionalized nanocrystals has been thoroughly studied and key parameters affecting the luminescence efficiency and
size distribution has been identified. Subsequently, the interaction of bio-functionalized nanoparticles with some biomolecules
such as enzymes and bio-oxidants was investigated and new protocols for nanoparticle-based biosensors have been developed.
These QDs exhibit very good optical properties and did overcome several limitations of the organic dyes that were conventionally
used for biomedical applications. However, ?blinking? effects, tissue auto-fluorescence and cytotoxicity concerns limit their use
in bio-imaging. The exciting UV/Vis light cannot penetrate tissues beyond 1 cm and therefore these materials are not suitable
for deep tissue imaging. Upconversion luminescent nanomaterials (UCN) circumvent all these problems involved in bioimaging.
They can be excited by near-IR (NIR) light where biological components do not absorb and the upconverted multicolor
fluorescence can be observed with zero background and without causing photodamage to the cells. The second part of my talk
would focus on such nanomaterials, specifically, Yb, Er co-doped NaYF4 nanocrystals which show unique property of NIR-to-vis
photon upconversion. The synthesis of these nanocrystals and their use in fluorescence imaging of canerous cells would be discussed.
Amiya Priyam (http://www.researcherid.com/rid/B-4164-2010) obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in chemistry from University of Delhi, India. He
completed his PhD from Jadavpur University in 2008. Subsequently, he worked as post-doctoral research fellow at Florida State University, USA
and National University of Singapore. Currently, he is assistant professor in the department of applied chemistry at Birla Institute of Technology,
Mesra, India. He is a life member of CRSI (Chemical Research Society of India) and MRSI (Materials Research Society of India). He also serves as
reviewer for prestigious RSC journals.
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