Thermometric characterization of fluorescent nanodiamonds suitable for biomedical applications

Francisco Pedroza-Montero, Karla Santacruz-Gómez, Mónica Acosta-Elías, Erika Silva-Campa, Diana Meza-Figueroa, Diego Soto-Puebla, Beatriz Castaneda, Efraín Urrutia-Bañuelos, Osiris Álvarez-Bajo, Sofía Navarro-Espinoza, Raúl Riera, Martín Pedroza-Montero*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Nanodiamonds have been studied for several biomedical applications due to their inherent biocompatibility and low cytotoxicity. Recent investigations have shown perspectives in using fluorescent nanodiamonds as nanothermometers because of their optical properties’ dependence on temperature. Easy and accurate localized temperature sensing is essential in a wide variety of scientific fields. Our work demonstrated how the fluorescence spectrum of high-pressure high-temperature fluorescent nanodiamonds of three different sizes: 35 nm, 70 nm and 100 nm, changes with temperature within an important biological temperature range (25C to 60C). Taking ad-vantage of this phenomenon, we obtained nanothermic scales (NS) from the zero phonon lines (ZPL) of the NV0 and NV colour centres. In particular, the 100 nm-sized features the more intense fluorescence spectra whose linear dependence with temperature achieved 0.98 R2 data representation values for both NV0 and NV. This model predicts temperature for all used nanodiamonds with sensitivities ranging from 5.73%C−1 to 6.994%C−1 (NV0 ) and from 4.14%C−1 to 6.475%C−1 (NV). Furthermore, the non-cytotoxic interaction with HeLa cells tested in our study enables the potential use of fluorescence nanodiamonds to measure temperatures in similar nano and microcellular aqueous environments with a simple spectroscopic setup.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4065
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bioimaging
  • Fluorescence
  • HeLa
  • NV centres
  • Nanodiamond
  • Nanothermometer


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