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Quantum Materials, Nanoaxis to Develop Array-Based Tests for Cancer, Neurological Diseases

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Quantum Materials and Nanoaxis this week announced a partnership that will see the firms pair their respective technologies to develop microarray-based tests for a variety of conditions.

Specifically, the firms will combine Tempe, Ariz.-based Quantum Materials' tetrapod quantum dot mass production technology with Getzville, NY-based Nanoaxis' expertise in gene therapy biomedical nanotechnology.

The firms aim to develop tetrapod quantum dot-based diagnostic kits and theranostic applications for Alzheimer's disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and depression.

Quantum Materials CEO Stephen Squires said in a statement that the partners seek to make "biologically adapted quantum dots the ideal choice for in vitro and in vivo applications for high throughput, efficient, and cost-effective applications in the biological and medical market spaces."

One of the companies' goals is to design a quantum dot microarray for the detection, diagnosis, and quantification of early-stage cancers. The device will be designed for "rapid detection and grading of various multiple cancers using blood assays, with higher accuracy and at less cost" than enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays, the firms said in a statement.

Quantum dots are semiconductors "whose excitons are confined in all three spatial dimensions," Nanoaxis states on its website. The privately held firm describes the technology as having properties that are "between those of bulk semiconductors and those of discrete molecules."

Quantum dots of the same material, but with different sizes, can emit finely tuned light of different colors, and Nanoaxis has internally been exploring the use of quantum dots as agents for medical imaging and targeted drug delivery.

Nanoaxis provides its own menu of quantum dots, branded as AxiCad. Quantum Materials also is a provider of quantum dots, which it is able to manufacture in large quantities using its Access2Flow continuous flow microreactor.

Further details of the alliance were not discussed.

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