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Sometimes innovation really is accompanied by a sudden flash of light, as experienced by Ulrich B. Wiesner, Materials Science and Engineering, and Hooisweng Ow, one of Wiesner's Ph.D. students. They created a new, nanoscale fluorescent bead. The novel fluorescent beads, referred to as CU Dot fluorescent nanoparticles or CU Dots, for short, are comparable to the much-hyped quantum dots in brightness and size, but lack their toxicity. Therefore, CU Dots can easily be used in the life sciences, for example, to track the motion of proteins on cell surfaces or to visualize biological entities (bioimaging) as in the labs of Barbara A. Baird, Chemistry and Chemical Biology; Nanobiotechnology Center.
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