Due to their unique optical properties, diamonds are the most valued gemstones. However, beyond the sparkle, diamonds have a number of unique properties. Their extreme hardness gives them outstanding performance as abrasives and cutting tools. Similar to many materials, their nanometer-sized form has yet other unique properties. Nanodiamonds are very inert but still can be functionalized on the surface. Additionally, they can be made in very small sizes and a narrow size distribution. Nanodiamonds can also host very stable fluorescent defects. Since they are protected in the crystal lattice, they never bleach. These defects can also be utilized for nanoscale sensing since they change their optical properties, for example, based on temperature or magnetic fields in their surroundings. In this Review, in vivo applications are focused upon. To this end, how different diamond materials are made and how this affects their properties are discussed first. Next, in vivo biocompatibility studies are reviewed. Finally, the reader is introduced to in vivo applications of diamonds. These include drug delivery, aiding radiology, labeling, and use in cosmetics. The field is critically reviewed and a perspective on future developments is provided.
- Journal Article