Nanoengineers Use Tiny Diamonds for Drug Delivery

Posted on October 21, 2007  Comments (1)

Nanoengineers Mine Tiny Diamonds for Drug Delivery

Northwestern University researchers have shown that nanodiamonds — much like the carbon structure as that of a sparkling 14 karat diamond but on a much smaller scale — are very effective at delivering chemotherapy drugs to cells without the negative effects associated with current drug delivery agents.

To make the material effective, Ho and his colleagues manipulated single nanodiamonds, each only two nanometers in diameter, to form aggregated clusters of nanodiamonds, ranging from 50 to 100 nanometers in diameter. The drug, loaded onto the surface of the individual diamonds, is not active when the nanodiamonds are aggregated; it only becomes active when the cluster reaches its target, breaks apart and slowly releases the drug. (With a diameter of two to eight nanometers, hundreds of thousands of diamonds could fit onto the head of a pin.)

“The nanodiamond cluster provides a powerful release in a localized place — an effective but less toxic delivery method,” said co-author Eric Pierstorff, a molecular biologist and post-doctoral fellow in Ho’s research group. Because of the large amount of available surface area, the clusters can carry a large amount of drug, nearly five times the amount of drug carried by conventional materials.

One Response to “Nanoengineers Use Tiny Diamonds for Drug Delivery”

  1. Curious Cat Science: A Microscopic Layer of Diamonds Beneath the Surface of North America
    January 2nd, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

    “A discovery of microscopic diamonds a few feet beneath the surface of North America reveals that a comet caused a cataclysm of fire, flood and devastation nearly 13,000 years ago that extinguished mammoths and mastodons..”

Leave a Reply