Magnetic Nanodiamonds as Contrast Agents

Magnetic Nanodiamonds as Contrast Agents

Author: Liam Critchley

The use of nanodiamonds in medical research has been gaining interest because of their biocompatibility and versatility. To date, most of the research has focused on manipulating the surface of nanodiamonds, with very little interest in modifying the internal structure of these materials.

Huan Niu, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, and colleagues have prepared magnetic nanodiamonds by implanting iron atoms into the internal structure. The modified structure enables the nanodiamonds to be used in medical applications. The iron atoms are never in contact with the external environment and present no danger to cells.

The researchers showcased the material’s use as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. Their presence can enhance the images obtained from an MRI scanner. The team investigated the nanodiamonds behavior in T2 relaxations, i.e., the decay of certain components of magnetization, and found that the values are around seven times greater than for non-doped nanodiamonds. This effect improves the signal intensity.

According to the researchers, the combination of magnetic properties with an additional surface functionalization of the nanodiamonds could allow further applications in drug delivery, targeted therapy, localized thermal treatment, and diagnostic imaging.



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