[Nature Communications] Optical imaging of localized chemical events using programmable diamond quan
Development of multifunctional nanoscale sensors working under physiological conditions enables monitoring of intracellular processes that are important for various biological and medical applications. By attaching paramagnetic gadolinium complexes to nanodiamonds (NDs) with nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centres through surface engineering, we developed a hybrid nanoscale sensor that can be adjusted to directly monitor physiological species through a proposed sensing scheme based on NV spin relaxometry. We adopt a single-step method to measure spin relaxation rates enabling time-dependent measurements on changes in pH or redox potential at a submicrometre-length scale in a microfluidic channel that mimics cellular environments. Our experimental data are reproduced by numerical simulations of the NV spin interaction with gadolinium complexes covering the NDs. Considering the versatile engineering options provided by polymer chemistry, the underlying mechanism can be expanded to detect a variety of physiologically relevant species and variables.
Torsten Rendler, Jitka Neburkova, Ondrej Zemek, Jan Kotek, Andrea Zappe, Zhiqin Chu, Petr Cigler & Jörg Wrachtrup
Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14701 (2017) doi:10.1038/ncomms14701