Versatility of fluorescent nanodiamonds as free radical quantum sensors: from arthritis and metastasis to potential applications in heart diseases

Arturo Elías Llumbet

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    145 Downloads (Pure)


    Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) have emerged as versatile tools in biomedicine due to their unique properties. Synthesized through detonation or high-pressure high-temperature processes, FNDs exhibit superior fluorescence compared to organic dyes, making them ideal for real-time imaging without issues like blinking. The surface chemistry of FNDs, whether hydrophilic or hydrophobic, enhances their versatility for functionalization with macromolecules, facilitating targeted applications. These biologically and chemically inert nanoparticles surpass other fluorescent counterparts in terms of biocompatibility.

    FNDs, featuring NV-center defects, offer a broad emission spectrum with quantum features, making them suitable for free radical detection. Diamond-based quantum sensing, specifically magnetometry based on T1 relaxometry, allows high-sensitivity detection of free radicals. Free radicals play dual roles in biology, acting as signaling molecules and causing oxidative damage. Oxidative stress, implicated in diseases like cancer and cardiovascular conditions, is challenging to detect due to the short lifetime and low concentration of free radicals.

    This thesis explores the implementation of diamond-based quantum sensing for in vitro free radical detection in biomedical settings, focusing on arthritis, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Chapter 2 investigates free radical levels in synovial fluid from arthritis patients. Chapter 3 examines free radicals during the migration of breast cancer cells, emphasizing the importance of measuring ROS subgroups. In Chapter 4, potential applications of diamond magnetometry in studying redox signaling pathways in cardiac cells are explored, providing a holistic view of free radical biology. The thesis contributes to understanding free radical biology and expands the applications of diamond-based quantum sensing in biomedical research, offering insights into diseases associated with oxidative stress.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Schirhagl, Romana, Supervisor
    • Manterola, M., Supervisor, External person
    Award date19-Feb-2024
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-93353-56-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2024

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