Fluorescent Nanodiamonds for Detecting Free-Radical Generation in Real Time during Shear Stress in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells

Rokshana Sharmin, Thamir Hamoh, Alina Sigaeva, Aldona Mzyk, Viraj G. Damle, Aryan Morita, Thea Vedelaar, Romana Schirhagl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Free-radical generation is suspected to play a key role in cardiovascular diseases. Another crucial factor is shear stress. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECS), which form the lining of blood vessels, require a physiological shear stress to activate many vasoactive factors. These are needed for maintaining vascular cell functions such as nonthrombogenicity, regulation of blood flow, and vascular tone. Additionally, blood clots form at regions of high shear stress within a blood vessel. Here, we use a new method called diamond magnetometry which allows us to measure the dynamics of free-radical generation in real time under shear stress. This quantum sensing technique allows free-radical detection with nanoscale resolution at the single-cell level. We investigate radical formation in HUVECs in a microfluidic environment under different flow conditions typically found in veins and arteries. Here, we looked into free-radical formation before, during, and after flow. We found that the free-radical production varied depending on the flow conditions. To confirm the magnetometry results and to differentiate between radicals, we performed conventional fluorescent reactive oxygen species (ROS) assays specific for superoxide, nitric oxide, and overall ROS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4349-4359
Number of pages11
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 24-Dec-2021


  • cells
  • nanodiamonds
  • NV centers
  • quantum sensing
  • relaxometry
  • shear stress

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