University of Leeds - Dr Dejian Zhou
This project is developing novel, sensitive and animal-free cancer imaging probes as an effective replacement for antibody-based diagnostic reagents widely used in clinical laboratories. At present, most current clinical cancer diagnostic reagents are antibody based and rely on the use of animals. Antibodies are generated by injecting a specific target antigen into an animal host, which includes mice, rats, rabbits, goats, sheep, chickens or horses.

Dr Zhou aims to develop novel, sensitive and animal-free cancer imaging probes as an effective replacement for antibody-based diagnostic reagents widely used in clinical laboratories.

Quantum dots (QDs) are tiny particles that have unique, size-dependent, extremely stable and brighter than usual fluorescence. In the laboratory different coloured QDs can be excited by a single light source to emit specific coloured emissions, making them ideal for multiplexed sensing and bioimaging.  At present, most current clinical cancer diagnostic reagents are antibody based and rely on the use of animals. Antibodies are generated by injecting a specific target antigen into an animal host which include mice, rats, rabbits, goats, sheep, chickens or horses. The number of animals used is extensive.  They are bled repeatedly, sometimes terminally, and in the case of monoclonal antibodies production, the animals are sacrificed.

This project aims to develop novel, multivalent non-antibody QD probes as an inexpensive, effective and reliable replacement for antibody-based reagents for sensitive, specific and multiplexed detection of cancer markers in fixed tissues.