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Nanodiamond Labeling With Fluorescent Biomarkers
Nanodiamond Fluorescent Biomarkers Will Push Nanomedicine Into Future
Nanodiamond Resources For Nanomedicine
Nanodiamond Mapping of Biological Systems
Nanodiamonds are coming to light as an increasingly promising tool for scientists and researchers to further their understanding of biological systems through the use of fluorescent nanodiamond markers which, through laser-induced fluorescence, are able to probe individual biomolecules and record how they mingle with each other during in vivo testing procedures. Nanodiamonds, as the name suggests, are simply smaller derivatives of their larger diamond counterparts and their nanoscale size and traditional diamond characteristics lend well to optical and medicinal pursuits. The nanometer size diamonds are commonly produced during an explosion of TNT or Research Department Explosive (RDX) although other energy transformations prevalent on the mystical planet of Earth can manifest pressures and conditions great enough for nanodiamond formation. Often brought up with the conversation of "space diamonds" like the mysterious carbonado of South America and Africa, nanodiamonds can be found at the site of meteor impact craters. The impact shock zone of such craters can leave a trail of breadcrumb nanodiamonds which rockhounds and other interested parties can often use as a telltale sign to trace massive dents in the Earth's crust back to ancient meteorite origins.
Being water soluble and having a good biocompatibility are properties that allow them to avoid inducing inflammation and make them choice candidates to replace currently used organic dyes and fluorescent proteins as the more modern biological fluorescent probe. While the dyes and proteins can work well to avoid the fluorescent background signal interference of things like collagens and flavins, they are usually prone to such destructive photochemical effects as photobleaching in fluorophores or photoblinking degradation. Semiconductor quantum dots can offer less problematic photochemical reactions while behaving like an ideal biological fluorescent probe that absorbs light with wavelength metrics greater than 500nm and simultaneously emitting light wavelengths greater than 600nm providing cell and tissue penetration critical to analysis. The quality of such quantum dot probes, however, is limited by the cyotoxicity, or cell toxicity, and subsequent human toxicity levels which must be dealt with in various surface chemistry modification methods to create any feasibility for cellular biomarker usage and medical imaging processes. Enter the nanodiamond fluorescent biomarker..
The nanodiamonds making up a nanodiamond fluorescent biomarker have a negligible level of human toxicity due to their primary construction from the element Carbon which organic life is created from. Further, the desired nanodiamond fluorescent biomarker effects can be achieved through the introduction of point defects in the nanodiamond crystal lattice rather than relying on surface manipulation. Such point defects, as the negatively charged nitrogen vacancy center defect, deliver fluorescence properties outside the spectral interference region of endogenous substance present in the human body. The carbon-based nanoparticles, or "carbon dots," provide fluorescence efficiency comparable to existing quantum dots while maintaining an almost indefinite shelf-life making long term in vivo studies more approachable.
Further areas of future medicinal progress are also seeing new light with the coming of age of detonation nanodiamonds. Anticancer drugs like doxorubicin are receiving power-ups from nanoparticles in laboratory experiments with mice. Such cancer fighting drugs can run into problems when attacking malignant tumors where the cancer cells have become drug resistant and simply pump out the medicine before it has had the proper time to perform its duties. Something like 90% of anticancer drug failures can be attributed to this flushing out of treatments. By attaching the drug to a nanodiamond base researchers are fighting back against the cellular transport proteins which limit the cure's potency. This led to experiments showing that nanodiamond drug delivery systems kept levels of doxorubicin higher for longer in lab mice and subsequently shrunk tumors faster and prolonged the mouse's life expectancy. There is much medical breakthrough potential in terms of using nanodiamonds as both a super active sorbent as well as a bio-orientation agent to enhance curative effects.
Companies such as Czech Republic-based Nanogroup Co., Carbodeon and Dynalene are offering opportunities for researchers to buy nanodiamond particles developed through detonation synthesis in order to conduct their own experiments to determine suitability for nanodiamond fluorescent biomarkers usage or otherwise. One can order various grades of nanoparticle diamond material for everything from polishing applications to oil/lubricant additives up to medicine pharmaceutical grade levels. A consumer can purchase these superhard nanomaterials in various forms from naonodiamond powder, a water dispersion solution, or a different mixture. Prices look reasonable with a one gram sample at a price of about $25. Your wife might not appreciate a nanodiamond solitaire as a Christmas present but the future of this carbon allotrope is bright.