Novel Fluorescent Calcium Phosphate Nanowhiskers for Multifunctional Imaging Applications


Project ID:  D2011-31b



Biocompatible nanoparticles possessing fluorescent properties offer attractive possibilities for multifunctional bioimaging and/or drug and gene delivery applications. Many of the limitations with current imaging systems center on the properties of the optical probes in relation to equipment technical capabilities. Here we introduce a novel high aspect ratio and highly crystalline europium doped calcium phosphate nanoparticle produced using a simple, microwave assisted solution combustion synthesis method for use as a multifunctional bioimaging probe. These novel nanoparticles may be utilized in a fashion similar to quantum dots, but with lesser cytotoxicity.


Invention Description:

Novel, nontoxic, cost-effective method of producing high aspect ratio calcium phosphate nanowhiskers with controlled morphology, phase and versatile manufacturing method which allows inclusion of dopants.



·       Single photon UV wavelength excitation with far red emission

·       Multiphoton red wavelength excitation with far red emission (i.e., permits deeper tissue penetration depths)

·       Low cytotoxicity

·       High aspect ratio nanoparticle

·       Increased loading capacity due to high surface area to volume ratio

·       Intrinsic properties allow calcium phosphate nanowhiskers to be used as cellular delivery and targeting agents

·       Novel process also permits nanowhiskers to be doped to possess increased strength, fluorescence, magnetic or electrical properties for additional in vitro and in vivo imaging (e.g. MRI) and other applications in which these properties are desired with low cytotoxicity.

·       Able to be produced on the nanoscale range with varying dimensions

·       Biodegradable/biocompatible properties of calcium phosphates

·       Fast, cost-effective method of synthesis without specialized equipment or toxic templating agents



These nanoparticles can be used comparably to quantum dots in imaging systems such as confocal microscopy and multiphoton microscopes. Additionally, these nanoparticles may have use in other biomedical applications such as tissue engineering scaffolds and/or carriers of therapeutic molecules such as drugs, proteins and genetic molecules. High crystallinity and high solution stability also permits their use as additives in material applications in which an increased strength-to-weight ratio is sought.


IP Status: Patent Pending
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Anne Izzi
Licensing Associate
The University of Toledo
419 530 6226
Sarit Bhaduri
Darcy Wagner
Calcium phosphate
UV wavelength