Rights: The University of Waikato Published 30 May 2008 Download

Dr Richard Tilley of Victoria University of Wellington uses the different types of scientists involved in quantum dot research as an example of what nanotechnology is about.



As you can imagine with this research, it involves many different types of scientists, and in the research, I'm a synthetic chemist, so we can make the quantum dots and also we can look at them in the electron microscope. We also collaborate with Professor Yamamoto, who is at the International Medical Centre of Japan in Tokyo. He is a proper medical doctor, he is doing toxicity studies on our quantum dots, and also he is doing medical research with them. We also have Thomas Bäckström at the Malaghan Institute, looking at biological studies, which antibodies are the best to attach to the surface of our quantum dots, and which drug molecules as well. And the other collaborator we have is Dr Shaun Hendy of Industrial Research, a theoretical physicist – so he does computer simulations of nanoparticles on our quantum dots, and he can assimilate what properties our quantum dots should have. With nanotechnology, the great thing is that there are many different types of scientists who would call themselves nanotechnologists. So I'm a chemist, I'm a nanotechnologist, and also you can have medical researchers who are nanotechnologists. So the best thing about it is it’s bringing together scientists who traditionally wouldn't communicate together, to work together, and build a new type of science. Because we all call ourselves nanotechnologists, we begin to understand a little bit about each other’s research and strengths, and how we can work together.

Professor Kenji Yamamoto
Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
Dr Shaun Hendy