Nanodiamonds with NV centers in biological applications

Speaker: Anna Ermakova, Ulm University

When: March 11, 2016 (Fri), 12:00PM to 01:30PM (add to my calendar)
Location: SCI 352

This event is part of the Biophysics/Condensed Matter Seminar Series.

Nanodiamonds (NDs) with nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers are unique objects, which can find applications from an imaging of living systems to a nanoscale sensors of magnetic or electric fields or temperature. NDs can be easily functionalized by specific proteins or molecules. On the other hand NDs with the size down to 2 nm are nontoxic. An NV center is optically stable and has controllable electron spin, which state can be initialized and read out optically. These properties make NDs with NV centers leading contender for biological imaging and sensing. One of the possible application of NDs with color centers is optical markers for drug delivery into the cancer cells. They allows to monitor position and time of drug release and to control drug absorption in different kinds of tissues. Most of the currently available magnetic sensors have bulky size and hardly can be used for studies of small objects on micro- or even nanoscale. NV centers embedded in NDs possess both high magnetic sensitivity and small size. This enables to exploit them in biological and medical studies in vivo. There are many magnetic proteins and molecules in living organisms. One of them is a ferritin molecule, which keeps essential iron atoms in nontoxic state until they are utilized in living processes. The problems with the chemical composition of the ferritin core might lead to many diseases such as anemia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The quick and cheap method to analyze the ferritin core structure would find broad medical applications.