Nano-assembly of nanodiamonds by conjugation to actin filaments

Carlo Bradac, Jana M. Say, Ishan D. Rastogi, Nicole M. Cordina, Thomas Volz, Louise J. Brown*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorescent nanodiamonds (NDs) are remarkable objects. They possess unique mechanical and optical properties combined with high surface areas and controllable surface reactivity. They are non-toxic and hence suited for use in biological environments. NDs are also readily available and commercially inexpensive. Here, the exceptional capability of controlling and tailoring their surface chemistry is demonstrated. Small, bright diamond nanocrystals (size 30 nm) are conjugated to protein filaments of actin (length 3-7 μm). The conjugation to actin filaments is extremely selective and highly target-specific. These unique features, together with the relative simplicity of the conjugation-targeting method, make functionalised nanodiamonds a powerful and versatile platform in biomedicine and quantum nanotechnologies. Applications ranging from using NDs as superior biological markers to, potentially, developing novel bottom-up approaches for the fabrication of hybrid quantum devices that would bridge across the bio/solid-state interface are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-304
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • fluorescent nanodiamond
  • specific binding
  • bioconjugation
  • self-assembly
  • hybrid quantum devices


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