Nanodiamond particles (NDPs), due to their unique properties, appear to be highly promising candidates for future advances in the world of medical technology. Namely, their ability to sense the presence of biomolecules ranging from proteins to DNA, might make them highly suitable elements in the design of sophisticated bionanotech probes. Scientists at the Institute for Material Research, Imec, based in Leuven, Belgium, are currently researching the role of fluorescent NDPs in cancer detection. According to Milos Nesladek, lead researcher for Dinamo, NDPs possess the unique ability to penetrate individual cell membranes without causing them damage, remain within the cell for extended periods of time without disrupting cell functions, and change their magnetic and fluorescent properties based on their interactions with the cell environment.
Not only could NDPs be integral components of advanced biosensors, capable of infiltrating cells and relaying information to physicians or external monitors, but they also possess surface qualities that enable them to transport specific biomolecules attached to them, such as primary DNA molecules. This means that a physician using NDPs in a patient may one day use the biomolecules to monitor, measure, or alter biological components of the cell.
Hopefully, the unique properties of NDPs may help researchers revolutionize the drug delivery mechanisms available to physicians today, and increase the delivery efficiency of anti-cancer medication, while simultaneously providing direct feedback from within the afflicted cells, for extended periods of time.
More information: Nanodiamonds: a cancer patient’s best friend?