Diamond nanothermometer helped measure the temperature within a single living cell





Over the past 270 years the mercury thermometer served mankind faithfully. But sometimes it takes more compact solutions, for example, to determine the temperature inside the living cell . Researchers at Harvard University have developed a new technique for measuring the temperature of microscopic structures using lasers and diamond crystals of nanometer dimensions, which allows you to record the temperature variations of 0.05 degrees on the Kelvin scale.

At the core technology behind the quantum properties of diamond. In crystals with a diamond NV-center (nitrogen-vacancy center – defect in the crystal lattice associated with the substitution of carbon atoms) electron spin begins to depend on the temperature of the center. The reflection laser beam from one of these diamonds revealed microscopic such dependence.

High chemical inertness of diamond can be used in harsh environments. For the same reason, this technology is suitable for measurement of a wide temperature range.

In the experiment, the scientists implanted in a separate cage two nanodiamond. Using reflected light, they have measured the temperature difference between two points in a single cell. Next, the researchers injected into a living cell and a gold nanodiamond particle, and then sent them to the laser beam. Gold, heating, transfer the heat cell. Rising temperatures in some parts of the cell was recorded with a diamond nanothermometer. The results of the study were published in a recent issue of the scientific journal Nature.

What does this mean in practice? Scientists believe nanothermometer help manage biological processes at the subcellular level, for example, to detect and destroy individual cancer cells within the body.

The Federal Communications Commission (USA) in the meantime interested in cell phone communication with the development of cancer .
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Tags: Harvard University , Cells , Nanotechnology .

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