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Nanoco Awarded Prestigious Biomedical Catalyst Grant from the Technology Strategy Board

June 11, 2014

Quantum dots are colorful nanoparticles with unique optical properties that have the potential to greatly benefit biomedical diagnostic applications. Nanoco's heavy-metal and cadmium-free quantum dots are a safe way to use fluorescent imaging to conduct cancer diagnostics, specifically related to Sentinel Lymph Node (SLN) Mapping. SLN Mapping is a key technique in cancer therapy that works to identify the lymph nodes most prone to malignancy because they are near a primary tumor. Those lymph nodes are then surgically removed, improving a patient's outcome.

"While the concept of using quantum dots to diagnose cancer is not new, the technology had been unable to deliver on its medical promise because it contained cadmium, a toxic heavy-metal that is unsafe for the human body and highly-regulated around the world," said Michael Edelman, CEO, Nanoco. "Our cadmium-free quantum dots remove that barrier and open up new realms of possibility with respect to cancer diagnostics and, more broadly, bio-imaging. We're honored by the TSB's award and look forward to bringing quantum dot cancer diagnostics from concept to reality."

Moreover, current SNL Mapping techniques typically suffer from high false negative rates because they do not give surgeons enough time to neatly remove the hot nodes and, ultimately, prevent metastasis. Because Nanoco's cadmium-free quantum dot technology remains visible for a longer period of time, surgeons have the valuable time they need to remove hot lymph nodes with the potential to dramatically improve cancer survival rates. "Cadmium-free quantum dots could lead to more precise surgeries and less time in the O-R," continued Edelman.

The Technology Strategy Board, which awarded the grant, is the UK's innovation agency that accelerates economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.

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Source: Global Data Point

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