Color-Changing Tagging Particles Gang Ruan, Ohio State University A team of engineers at Ohio State University have packed a nanoparticle full of fluorescent blinking quantum dots. When the particle is attached to a single molecule, it functions as a gaudily glowing beacon. With their bright, continuous fluorescent glow that transitions between red, green and yellow, the nanoparticle is a better way to tag molecules, both in its function and in its good looks. Earlier attempts to tag molecules with bright quantum dots were hindered by the dots' on-and-off blinking, like trying to follow a blinking flashlight through a dark room. The Ohio State engineers fixed the faulty flashlight. Led by assistant professor Jessica Winter and research scientist Gang Ruan, the team placed a group of quantum dots inside a slightly larger plastic nanoparticle. Whenever a single quantum dot within the nanoparticle blinked off, the team simply followed the glow of...
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