Nanodiamonds pp 127-150 | Cite as

Development and Use of Fluorescent Nanodiamonds as Cellular Markers



Diamond is an allotrope of carbon. A unique property that distinguishes it from the other carbon materials is that diamond is optically transparent and often contains point defects as color centers. Nitrogen vacancy (N-V) defects are the most noteworthy color centers in diamond. These centers can be produced reproducibly by ion beam irradiation, followed by thermal annealing, and can emit strong and stable fluorescence when excited by visible light. This unique optical property combined with the non-cytotoxicity and good surface functionalizability characteristics of the material makes nanoscale diamonds a promising fluorescent probe for bioimaging applications in cellular environments. This article summarizes the results of our efforts in production and characterization of bright, multicolored (red and green) fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) and their use as cellular markers. Notable advancement of technologies along this line includes mass production of FNDs and real time tracking of a single 35-nm red FND particle in three dimensions in live cells. We envision that further development of the material will provide an increased sensitivity and improved capability for fruitful applications of FNDs in biology and medicine.


Color Center Diamond Film Nitrogen Vacancy Cellular Marker Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author thanks Y.-R. Chang and H.-Y. Chou for their assistance in preparing this manuscript. This research was supported by the Academia Sinica and the National Science Council (Grant No. NSC 96-2120-M-001-008-) of Taiwan, ROC.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan

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