Silica-Coated Nanodiamonds for Imaging and Delivery of Therapeutic Agents

The NCI Radiation Oncology Branch and the  NHLBI Laboratory of Single Molecule Biophysics seek parties to co-develop fluorescent  nanodiamonds for use as in vivo and in vitro optical tracking probes toward commercialization.  

NCI and NHLBI investigators invented a robust and easily implemented method of synthesizing silica-coated nanodiamonds for imaging and therapeutic applications. A patent estate covering these methods is offered for licensing to commercial entities. The method generally includes coating nanodiamonds with a silica precursor, e.g, tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS), inside liposomes. The liposomes are then removed to yield a final product that is stable, monodisperse, and easy to functionalize. 

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Imaging
  • Drug delivery
  • Small size
  • Physiologically inert carrier
  • Monodisperse
  • Stable in aqueous solution
  • Readily functionalized
  • Biological activity is determined more efficiently than chemical analysis
  • High Specificity and selectivity

Development Stage:


Martin Brechbiel (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Keir Neuman (NHLBI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Application No. 61/672,996
US Provisional Application No. 61/711,702

Yu SJ, et al. Bright fluorescent nanodiamonds: no photobleaching and low cytotoxicity.  PMID 16351080
Wilson RM. Nanodiamonds are promising quantum probes of living cells. DOI 10.1063/PT.3.1204
Chow EK, et al. Nanodiamond therapeutic delivery agents mediate enhanced chemoresistant tumor treatment.  PMID 21389265
Krueger A. New carbon materials: biological applications of functionalized nanodiamond materials. PMID 18033700

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing only

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-175-2012
Updated: Oct 6, 2020