The scientists of NEIST develops a Cancer cell detection ‘dots’ from coal

Published: June 21, 2019

A team of scientists from CSIR-NEIST Assam has developed a chemical process that turns ‘dirty’ coal into a biomedical ‘dot’ to help detect cancer cells. The team, led by Binoy Kumar Saikia and Tonkeswar Das, has applied for a patent for their chemical method of producing Carbon Quantum Dots (CQDs) from cheap, abundant, low-quality and high-sulphur coals. CQDs are carbon-based nanomaterials whose size is less than 10 nm (or nanometer). The CQDs that the CSIR-NEIST team developed emit a bluish colour with high-stability, good-conductivity, low-toxicity, environmental friendliness, and good optical properties. CQDs are futuristic materials whose demand in India has been increasing leading to a considerable volume of import. The CSIR-NEIST technology can produce approximately 1 litre of CQDs per day at a low cost to become an import substitute. The acronym ‘CSIR-NEIST’ stands for “Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-North East Institute of Science and Technology”.