Dr. Zeev Rosenzweig
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Maryland Baltimore County
"Luminescent Semiconductor Quantum Dots Synthesis as Imaging and Sensing Probes and their Impact on Cells and Living Organisms in the Environment"
Semiconductor quantum dots were introduced as a potentially viable alternative to organic fluorophores in bioimaging and sensing applications. However, significant concerns about their toxicity have hampered progress in this area as most quantum dots contain heavy metals like cadmium and lead. The potential of semiconductor quantum dots in bioimaging and sensing applications is therefore yet to be optimized. Meanwhile, luminescent quantum dots with their heavy metals have been incorporated into broadly distributed consumer electronics including cell phones, tablets, TVs and light emitting displays, and into solar energy and photovoltaic devices. This raises significant concerns about the potential adverse impact of luminescent quantum dots on living organisms in the environment, particularly when these devices are disposed at the end of their lifetime. This presentation will focus on the unique luminescent properties of semiconductor quantum dots as bioimaging and sensing probes, as well as on recent efforts to synthesize cadmium-free luminescent quantum dots with comparable functional properties to cadmium-containing quantum dots, but with significantly reduced impact on living organisms. The potential application of luminescent quantum dots as antibacterial agents when combined with synthetic mimics of antibacterial peptides will also be described.
Dr. Rosenzweig obtained his BSc and PhD in Chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1986 and 1992, respectively. Following three years of postdoctoral training at Iowa State University and the University of Michigan, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of New Orleans where he developed a leading research program in the area of luminescent biosensors. Dr. Rosenzweig served as Program Director in the US National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry between 2005 and 2014. He then joined the University of Maryland Baltimore County as a Full Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where he developed a research and training program in the area of luminescent semiconductor quantum dots and their impact on natural systems.
This event is cohosted by the McGill Sustainabilty Systems Initiative (MSSI) and the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED)