Novel Ligands and Functionalized Nanoparticle Compositions Compatible in Either Organic or Aqueous Solutions

Primary Inventors: 

Todd Emrick, Ph.D. and Habib Skaff

Description: 

This invention provides a variety of nanoparticle-polymer composite materials, each such composite having a nanoparticle component, a polymeric component and a coupling component, each of which is dictated by the solvent system (either water or an organic solvent) in which the nanoparticle is to be dispersed, such that the nanoparticle-polymer composition retains the stability, photoluminenscence and quantum yield properties of the nanoparticle. An example of this invention is a new class of ligands, specifically polyethylene glycols (PEGs) terminated with covalently bound pyridine groups, synthesized and used to prepare water and oil soluble CdSe nanoparticles. This scheme represents a novel route to water soluble nanoparticles, and the methodology allows one to prepare water soluble nanoparticles more quickly than previously. Water solubility does not depend on pH, due to the charge neutral PEG chains. A unique aspect of these nanoparticle materials is their amphiphilic nature, as the isolated PEG-covered nanoparticles are soluble in both water and organic solvents, and exhibit absorption, photoluminescence, and quantum yield properties.

Applications: 

Nanoparticle bio-tags; medical uses such as biological detection agents.

Advantages: 

The products are new materials, and the preparation method provides an easy, rapid synthesis of water-soluble nanoparticles, which is amenable to scale-up and mass production.

Licensing Status: 
Available for Licensing and Research Collaboration
Patent Status: 

US Patent 7,563,507 issued

Docket: 
UMA 02-31
For More Information: 

Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property
Phone: 413-545-3606
E-mail: cvip@research.umass.edu