As many as 11 papers from the Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering, NRNU MEPhI, published at the KnowledgeE publishing platform cited in the Scopus database

The KnowledgeE platform has published papers based on the reports presented at the 2nd International Symposium on Physics, Engineering and Technologies for Biomedicine dedicated to the 75th anniversary of MEPhI. The symposium was organized by the Institute of Engineering Physics for Biomedicine (PhysBio) of NRNU MEPhI. Researchers of the Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering (LNBE) took active part in the symposium, presenting 11 statements, which became the basis of 11 papers.

The subjects of the papers reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the symposium itself and the research carried out in the laboratory, which are mostly aimed at applying achievements in nanotechnologies to medical practice.

The papers describe the results of designing new types of quantum dots, fluorescent nanocrystals used as optical labels in all LNBE's biomedical developments; analysis of their characteristics and the prospects for using these nanoparticles and hybrid materials containing them in medical practice; development of microcapsules encoded with quantum dots as diagnostic and therapeutic agents; and development of photonic nanocrystals for biosensing and other applications.

Professor Igor Nabiev, leading scientist of LNBE, summarized the advantages of quantum dots as fluorescent labels over other fluorophores used for this purpose, as well as the methods used in LNBE to synthesize the nanoparticles, render them water-soluble, and functionalize their surface with organic ligands for making the particles suitable for biological and medical applications [1].

The authors of one paper from LNBE synthesized "multishell" quantum dots and investigated them to discover an alternative mechanism of their fluorescence related to charge transfer from an outer layer into the quantum dot [2]. They found that the quantum yield of the "multishell" nanocrystals could be increased to almost 100% due to additional confinement of charge carriers in their cores.

Another LNBE's study was aimed at obtaining quantum dots with lead sulfide cores and the shells optimal for in vivo uses that would fluoresce in the near-IR region, which is a "transparency window" of biological tissues [3]. The technique developed for applying a silicon oxide shell onto the quantum dots' fluorescent cores made it possible to obtain biocompatible nontoxic nanoparticles suitable for imaging cancer cells in bulk tissue.

The purpose of one more study from LNBE was to impart biocompatibility to low-toxic CuInS2/ZnS (core/shell) quantum dots (which are therefore suitable for in vivo use) [4]. The authors developed a technique for additionally coating these nanoparticles with amines, which are easy to replace with other organic ligands; this allows the nanoparticles to be used in a vast range of biomedical applications.

The use of quantum dots for targeted delivery of drugs to a tumor and simultaneous optical tracing of the transport is a promising application whose development is, however, hampered by fluorescence quenching because of photoinduced electron transfer from the nanocrystal cores to the organic ligand molecules on their surface. Researchers of LNBE demonstrated that the above-mentioned "multishell" quantum dots could help in preventing this transfer [5].

Nanotoxicity is the main risk of medical applications of quantum dots. The authors of a study from LNBE determined the concentrations of CdSe/ZnS nanoparticles that are safe for live cells and estimated the characteristics of the fluorescence of quantum dots after their uptake by human monocytes [6].

Polyelectrolyte microcapsules optically encoded quantum dots constitute one of the types of theranostic agents being developed in LNBE. The capsules can serve as containers for targeted delivery of antitumor drugs and their controlled release, with the optical code used for tracing the delivery and imaging the tumor. A paper from LNBE describes an efficient method for optically encoding the microcapsules with quantum dots developed in the laboratory [7].

In vivo use of the microcapsules also raises the question about their possible toxicity for normal cells because of the cadmium-containing quantum dots in the microcapsules' shells. Experiments have shown that the toxicity of the microcapsules developed in LNBE is low enough for them to be used in clinic [8].

Two of the published studies deal with the development of photonic crystals to be used in biosensing, as well as various fields of photonics and optoelectronics. Porous silicon is an optimal material for these structures. The first papers reports the results of simulation of porous silicon structure, which can be used to adjust the conditions for obtaining photonic crystals with desired optical characteristics [9].

The authors of the second paper designed a hybrid structure consisting of porous silicon photonic crystals and quantum dots embedded in them, investigated its optical properties, and demonstrated that it was promising for biosensing [10]. An advantage of this hybrid material is that the photonic crystal can considerably enhance the luminophore's fluorescence.

Finally, there is a paper on engineering nano–bio hybrid materials from quantum dots and components of the bacterial photosynthetic apparatus. These materials are highly promising for photovoltaics, because the quantum dots can absorb light in a wide spectral range and transfer the energy to the protein that transports a proton through the cell membrane, thus generating an electric potential. Researchers of LNBE found the way to control the efficiency of nonradiative energy transfer from the quantum dots to the photosensitive protein by means of laser irradiation of the hybrid material at different wavelengths and powers [11].

The published studies clearly demonstrate that interdisciplinary research carried out in LNBE are successful and have numerous implications for practice, mainly in the field of biomedicine.

Published studies from LNBE

  1. Nabiev, I.R. (2018) Quantum dot conjugates in functional imaging and highly sensitive biochemical assays. KnE Energy & Physics, 287–291. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1824
  2. Samokhvalov, P.S., Linkov, P.A., Zvaigzne, M.A., Kosmynceva, A.V., Petrova, I.O., Krivenkov, V.A., Sukhanova, A.V., Nabiev, I.R. (2018) Optical properties of core–multishell quantum dots. KnE Energy & Physics, 449–455. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1850
  3. Vokhmintcev, K.V., Linkov, P.A., Samokhvalov, P.S., Nabiev, I.R. (2018) Two-stage shell coating of CuInS2 quantum dots for their efficient solubilization. KnE Energy & Physics, 535–540. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1862
  4. Linkov, P.A., Vokhmintcev, K.V., Samokhvalov, P.S., Laronze-Cochard, M., Sapi, J., Nabiev, I.R. (2018) The effect of quantum dot shell structure on fluorescence quenching by acridine ligand. KnE Energy & Physics, 194–201. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1813
  5. Bozrova S.V., Baryshnikova M.A., Sokolova, Z.A., Nabiev, I.R., Sukhanova, A.V. (2018) In vitro cytotoxicity of CdSe/ZnS quantum dots and their interaction with biological systems. KnE Energy & Physics, 58–63. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1792
  6. Nifontova, G.O., Sukhanova, A.V., Samokhvalov, P.S., Nabiev, I.R. (2018) Efficient encoding of matrix microparticles with nanocrystals for fluorescent polyelectrolyte microcapsules development. KnE Energy & Physics, 305–310. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1827
  7. Nifontova, G.O., Baryshnikova M.B., Bozrova S.V., Sokolova, Z.A., Nabiev, I.R., Sukhanova, A.V. (2018) Cytotoxicity of polyelectrolyte microcapsules encoded with semiconductor nanocrystals. KnE Energy & Physics, 299–304. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1826
  8. Dovzhenko, D.S., Chistyakov, A.A., Nabiev, I.R. (2018) Modeling and optimization of the porous silicon photonic structures. KnE Energy & Physics, 75–81. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1795
  9. Dovzhenko, D.S., Chistyakov, A.A., Nabiev, I.R. (2018) Porous silicon photonic crystal as a substrate for high efficiency biosensing. KnE Energy & Physics, 69–74. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1794
  10. Krivenkov, V.A., Samokhvalov, P.S., Chistyakov, A.A., Nabiev, I.R. (2018) Laser irradiation as a tool to control the resonance energy transfer in bacteriorhodopsin–quantum dot bio–nano hybrid material. KnE Energy & Physics, 168–174. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1809
  11. Zvaigzne, M.A., Martynov, I.L., Voronin, V.S., Bozrova, S.V., Vokhmincev, K.V., Goncharov, S.A., Dovzhenko, D.S., Korenkova, A.V., Samokhvalov, P.S., Nabiev, I.R., Chistyakov, A.A. (2018) Fine-tuning of silica coating procedure for preparation of biocompatible and bright PbS/SiO2 QDs. KnE Energy & Physics, 578–582. DOI 10.18502/ken.v3i2.1868


Maria G. Korenkova, director of external relations of LNBE (

Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute
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