In recent years, nanodiamonds have emerged from primarily an industrial and mechanical applications base, to potentially underpinning sophisticated new technologies in biomedical and quantum science. Nanodiamonds are relatively inexpensive, biocompatible, easy to surface functionalise and optically stable. This combination of physical properties are ideally suited to biological applications, including intracellular labelling and tracking, extracellular drug delivery and adsorptive detection of bioactive molecules. Here we describe some of the methods and challenges for processing nanodiamond materials, detection schemes and some of the leading applications currently under investigation.
- nitrogen-vacancy centre