The importance of carbon-based materials in biological applications has been recognized. Especially, nanodiamond particles (referred to as nanodiamonds, NDs) have started to emerge as novel candidate for promising applications in the field of nano-biotechnology as imaging probes and drug carriers. NDs do not show the toxicity of other nanoparticles, notably gold, making them ideal nanoscale drug delivery platforms. Furthermore, NDs can exhibit intrinsic fluorescence from point defects making them candidates for biomedical imaging applications. ND particles are particularly attractive for biomedical applications as functionalization and biomolecule immobilization are readily accomplished. Triggered drug release allows the functionalized NDs to find their targets before the drugs are activated by local conditions. In this sense, the NDs are performing the well established role of postdrugs, smuggeling the inactive compound to their targets where they are released through bond cleavage.
The objective of the proposed program concerns the fabrication of NDs modified with photo-label linkers where different molecules can be directly attached, without chemically modification of the biomolecule itself. In a proof of principle, horse radish peroxidase (HRP) will be linked to NDs modified with the photo-label o-nitrobenzyl group and the release followed by UV/Vis. In a later state the controlled release of drugs such as ibuprofen, adriamycin or antigens will be looked at.
The proposed research project brings together centers from France, the UK, Spain and the Ukrain. The network offers training in the fabrication and characterization of new materials for biological applications.
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