Glowing quantum dots made from mango leaves

By heating dried mango leaf extract, researchers have synthesized fluorescent graphene quantum dots that can be used for bioimaging and as intracellular temperature-sensing probes1.

Existing fluorescent materials, such as organic dyes, metal clusters and quantum dots, are toxic to biological cells and unstable when exposed to light.

In search of a biocompatible fluorescent material, scientists led by Rohit Srivastava from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai prepared fluorescent graphene quantum dots by heating dried mango leaf extract in a domestic microwave oven. They then explored the quantum dots’ potential for bioimaging and temperature-sensing in specific mice cells.

When incubated with the mice cells, the quantum dots easily permeated the cell membrane without disrupting the proliferation and viability of the cells. This shows that the dots are biocompatible. read more

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