Research Topic

Sensing in Biological and Biomimetic Systems Using Diamond Color Centers

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About this Research Topic

Diamond hosting defects, such as nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers, constitute a material of increasing interest, owing to an energy-level scheme akin to a two-level atomic transition, with spin-1, that may be optically addressed. There are over 500 known optically active defect centres in diamond; however, the ...

Diamond hosting defects, such as nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers, constitute a material of increasing interest, owing to an energy-level scheme akin to a two-level atomic transition, with spin-1, that may be optically addressed. There are over 500 known optically active defect centres in diamond; however, the NV center remains the most well studied system due to its extraordinary sensing properties. As a result, NV centres in diamond have been used to measure minute magnetic fields, small temperature changes, or as sensitive spectrometers for nanoscale magnetic resonance studies. In addition, diamond is inert and highly biocompatible. Nanometer size diamonds are commercially available as fluorescent tracers that do not bleach, and protocols have been developed for the uptake of such diamonds into living cells. It is tempting to suggest that such internalized nano-diamonds may be used as intracellular sensors too. Larger diamonds have been applied as substrates for single cell sensing, or for thin pieces of tissue, for example for magnetic field sensing or magnetic imaging.

This Research Topic focuses on the applicability of diamonds with NV centers in connection with biological samples – from single cells and biomimetic systems to tissue.


Keywords: diamond sensing, nitrogen-vacancy centers, biological specimen, magnetometry, thermometry


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