Universidad de Granada

Novel luminescent probes of lanthanide complexes for sensing of biomolecules.

Posted by Universidad de GranadaResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

A research institution and a university from Spain have developed a new family of antenna chromophores able to sensitize effectively luminescence of lanthanides to be applied as labelling probes for biomolecules.
Industrial partners specialized in fluorescent probes for biological research are being sought to collaborate through a patent license agreement.

Description of the technology

Luminescent lanthanide probes are emerging as powerful tools inin vitro labelling of biomolecules and nanoparticles for monitoring of bioassays in diagnostics or drug discovery.

Use of sensitizing chromophores or antennas as ligands in a lanthanide complex allows increasing luminescence intensity of the lanthanide ion. However, its current application is limited due to the difficulty to label the biomolecule in an easy way.

The authors have developed two families of antenna ligands able to bind efficiently to biomolecules and sensitize luminescence emission of lanthanide cations, especially Europium III cations (Eu3+) and Terbium III (Tb3+).

Assays performed with different peptides and proteins labelled with lanthanide complexes using the developed antennas showed between 2,000 and 12,000 fold luminescence increase with Tb3+ complexes and between 8,000 and 68,000 fold with Eu3+ complexes.

Similarly, nanoparticles labelled with these lanthanide complexes have been used efficiently for tumour cells imaging.


Easy and efficient generation of luminescent lanthanide sensors using novel antennas able to increase the intensity of the lanthanide’s fluorescence emission once bonded to the target.

Effective implementation in the luminescent labelling of biomolecules and nanoparticlesin vitro.

Easy target labelling both in solution and in solid phase.

Advantages over organic fluorophores and fluorescent protein are:

  • Long luminescence lifetime (μs-ms) erasing interferences by autofluorescence of the biological systems and increasing signal-to- noise ratio, hence sensitivity.
  • Sharp emission peaks with narrow bandwidth that do not overlap.
  • Large Stokes’ shift avoiding self-absorption.

​They allow simultaneous use of different lanthanide probes to detect several targets (multichannel detection).

Intellectual property status

Patent already applied for

Technology Owner

Universidad de Granada

Technology Transfer Office

Related keywords

  • Biology / Biotechnology
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry / Biophysics Market
  • In vitro Testing, Trials Market
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Market
  • Medical imaging
  • fluorescent probes
  • biolabelling
  • lanthanide
  • antenna chromophore
  • research and experimental on biotechnology

About Universidad de Granada

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Granada University is one of the most important universities of Spain. The main goal is to transfer technology that our research groups, more than 500, are developing to the industries and companies which are able to take profit from them. It is a general University so Research and Development are offered in different fields like Health Science and Technology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, Environment and Natural Resources, Biotechnology, Information and Communication Technologies, Social, Economic and Legal Sciences....

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