A project of the LNBE wins the 2017 grant competition of the Russian Science Foundation

A project of the LNBE, Basic Problems of the Development of Biosensors Based on Nontoxic Colloidal Nanocrystals and Their Interactions with Biological Systems, directed by Alyona V. Sukhanova, PhD, is among the winners of the 2017 competition for grants of the Russian Science Foundation in the priority area Basic Research and Exploratory Studies Carried out by Single Research Groups.

Development of nanosized sensors and probes containing luminescent nanocrystals for high-precision clinical diagnosis is the main line of research of LNBE. These nanocrystals have substantial advantages over organic fluorophores, which are currently used for these purposes: nanocrystals are smaller, their fluorescence is brighter and photostability higher; and their wide absorption and narrow fluorescence spectra allow making the diagnostic system simpler and less expensive while enhancing its sensitivity and specificity. Another advantage is the possibility of detecting several types of target molecules within a single analysis. However, the use of these nanosystems is limited to analysis of blood samples and biopsies. Their use in vivo, which could make it possible, e.g., to detect cancer cells with a high precision at early stages of tumor growth, is prevented by the potential toxicity of available nanocrystals with the physicochemical and optical characteristics required for these applications. These nanocrystals consist of salts of heavy metals (mostly cadmium), which unfortunately may accumulate in the body and do more harm than benefit. Therefore, synthesis of nanocrystals of a different composition with similar controlled properties, development of biosensors based on them, and study of their interaction with model organisms are among the key lines of research.

Current research in LNBE is focused at this very problem. The new project that has won the Russian Science Foundation grant will be an important step along this line of research and developments, thus making a considerable contribution to the medicine of the future by fundamentally extending the potentials of diagnosis and treatment of, first of all, cancer and autoimmune disorders.


Alyona V. Sukhanova, PhD

Maria G. Korenkova, LNBE director of external relations (MGKorenkova@mephi.ru)

Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute
31 Kashirskoe shosse, 115409 Moscow, Russian Federation


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