This Diamond Lab focuses on the development and application of diamond nanoprobes for biological applications.
This novel and promising technology exploits the unique properties of negatively-charged Nitrogen-Vacancy centers in diamond. The spin-dependent fluorescence of NV centers makes it possible to perform ultrahigh-sensitivity magnetometry experiments, thus probing cellular activity and microenvironment with unprecedented accuracy and resolution. Our laboratory develops and deploys new methods and diamond-based materials for optically detected NMR, optical pumping for NMR enhancement, and direct measurement of time-varying magnetic fields in living cells and tissues.
Novel imaging probes represent a promising development in medical imaging, exploiting recent technological advances that make it possible to manipulate matter at the nano-scale and to assemble hybrid nanostructures that combine natural and artificial elements. A long-term goal of this laboratory is the development of brain-penetrant MR imaging agents that sense directly neuronal activity, as opposed to the indirect detection of the down-stream effects of neural activation on brain hemodynamics.
- Antonio Miotello, University of Trento
The Optically Detected MR lab has a number of coherent sources of various wavelengths and powers, including a Coherent Verdi V5 laser for the excitation of fluorescent signals in nanodiamonds and other materials. Moreover, the laboratory is equipped with a Nikon Eclipse T1 fluorescence microscope, and a Nicolet iS50 FT-IR infrared spectrofotometer. For sample preparation and characterization, we have access to state-of-the-art nanofabrication facilities at the IIT headquarters in Genova.