Nanodiamonds feel the heat | EurekAlert! Science News


IMAGE: (a) Illustration of the structure of a nanodiamond quantum sensor coated with a pyrogenic polymer, and how it works as a hybrid nanoheater / thermometer. (b) Electronic microscope image of hybrid sensors …. view more

Credit: Osaka University

Osaka, Japan – A team of scientists from Osaka University, the University of Queensland, and the Faculty of Engineering of the National University of Singapore used tiny nanodiamonds with a heat-emitting polymer to study the thermal properties of cells. When irradiated by light from a laser, the sensors acted as both heaters and thermometers, allowing thermal behavior within a cell to be measured. This work could lead to a new set of heat-based treatments for killing bacteria or cancer cells.

Even though the cell is the basic unit of all organisms, some physical properties are difficult to study. in vivo. For example, the thermal conduction of a cell, as well as the extent to which heat can flow through an object if one side is hot while the other side is cold, remained a mystery. This gap in our knowledge is important for applications such as the development of thermal therapies that target cancer cells, and for answering fundamental questions about cell function.

Now, the team has developed a device that can determine the thermal behavior inside living cells with a spatial resolution of about 200 nm. They have created tiny diamonds coated with a polymer, polydopamine, which emits both fluorescent light as well as heat when illuminated by laser. Tests have shown that these grains are toxic and can be used in living cells. When inside a liquid or cell, the heat raises the temperature of the nanodiamonds. In media with high thermal conductivity, the nanodiamond did not get very hot because heat escaped rapidly, but in an environment where there was little temperature, the nanodiamonds became hotter. Crucially, the properties of the emitted light depend on the temperature, so the research team could measure the rate of heat flow from the sensor to the surroundings.

Obtaining good spatial resolution allowed measurement in different locations within the cells. “We found that the rate of heat dissipation in cells, as measured by the hybrid nanosensors, was several times slower than in real water, an interesting result that is still awaiting a complete theoretical explanation and was in charge of the place, “said senior author Taras Plakhotnik.

“In addition to developing heat-based treatments for cancer, we believe potential applications for this work will provide a better understanding of metabolic disorders, such as obesity,” senior author Madoka Suzuki says. This tool can also be used for basic cell analysis, for example, to monitor biochemical reactions in real time.


The article, “In situ measurements of intracellular thermal conduction using heater thermometer diamond nanosensors, ”published in Advances in science at DOI: https: // /10.1126 /sciadv.abd7888

About Osaka University

Osaka University was founded in 1931 as one of the seven imperial universities in Japan and is now one of the leading comprehensive universities in Japan with a broad regulatory spectrum. This strength accompanies a single drive for innovation that extends through the scientific process, from basic research to the creation of applied technology with positive economic impacts. The commitment to innovation has been recognized in Japan and around the world, being named the most innovative university in Japan in 2015 (Reuters 2015 Top 100) and one of the centers most innovative in the world in 2017 (Universities of Innovation and Innovation Nature Index 2017). Now, Osaka University is fulfilling its role as a Designated National University Corporation selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology to contribute to innovation for human welfare, sustainable development of society and social transformation.

Website: https: // /en

About the University of Queensland

For more than a century, the University of Queensland (UQ) has maintained a global reputation for delivering knowledge leadership for a better world.

The most prestigious and recognized rankings of the world’s universities consistently place UQ among the world’s top universities.

UQ has also won more national teaching awards than any other university in Australia. This commitment to quality teaching empowers our current 53,600 students, who study across three UQ campuses, to create positive change for society.

Our research, delivered by an interdisciplinary research community of more than 1500 researchers at our six faculties, eight research institutes and more than 100 research centers, has a global impact.

Website: https: //

About the National University of Singapore (NUS)

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s premier university, offering a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and knowledge. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, with more than 40,000 students from 100 countries enriching our vibrant and diverse campus community. We have also established our NUS Overseas Colleges program in more than 15 cities worldwide.

Our multidisciplinary and genuine approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with business, governments and academics to address critical and complex issues relevant to Asia and the region. the world. Researchers in our faculties, 31 university-level research institutes, centers of excellence research and a physical laboratory focus on topics that include energy; environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases; active age; advanced materials; risk management and robustness of financial systems; Asian Studies; and Smart Nation capabilities such as artificial intelligence, data science, operations research and cybersecurity.

For more information on NUS, visit http: //

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