Quantum Dots from Engineered Yeast 1

Quantum Dots from Engineered Yeast 1

Shalmalee Pandit and Aditya Venkatramani

Koch Institute at MIT

Environmental remediation of toxic metals, oil spills, and plastics is becoming increasingly more important as the climate crisis on this planet continues to escalate. We have taken an image of yeast (a strain of baker’s yeast) that have been genetically engineered to eat up toxic cadmium ions and precipitate CdS quantum dots. These semiconducting quantum dots can be then recycled. The black cells correspond to these genetically modified yeast, while the red nanoparticles correspond to the quantum dots.

By characterizing the range of excitation and emission spectra, these quantum dots can be both used for remediation of toxic metals and better understood for their potential applications to catalysis, sensors, LEDs, and TVs that employ electron luminescence.

pastel curves with red and dark spots scattered throughout

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