Background-Free Fluorescent Nanodiamond Imaging

Available for licensing and commercial development are intellectual property rights covering a method of imaging a biological specimen (e.g., human tissue) using fluorescent nanodiamonds implanted into the subject of interest, applying a magnetic field to said subject and producing a resultant image by a net juxtaposition of a second acquired image. This process suppresses the background and permits selective imaging of the nanodiamonds in the presence of background fluorescence that exceeds the signal from the nanodiamonds. Another aspect of the invention provides an imaging method in which the resulting image is acquired by applying time-varying magnetic fields using one or more secondary image averaged against the first. The technique relies on imposing a small (~100 Gauss) magnetic field on the sample of interest during optical imaging combined with post-processing of the acquired images to remove the background. This technology can readily be added onto any commercial optical imaging platform to achieve background-free images of the nanodiamonds in a biological specimen.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • In vitro and in vivo optical imaging and diagnostics
  • MRI imaging
  • Improved resolution through composite imagery
  • Background elimination
  • Indefinite tracking due to the exceptional stability of the fluorescent nanodiamonds
  • Wide excitation band (~500-600 nm)
  • Broad-band Near IR emission (600-700 nm)
  • Nanodiamonds are stable in aqueous solution
  • In related technologies we have developed a method to specifically coat and functionalize nanodiamonds for targeting and labeling applications

Development Stage:
  • Prototype
  • In vitro data available
  • In vivo data available (animal)

Related Invention(s):


Ambika Bumb (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Keir Neuman (NHLBI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: 9,449,377 issued 2016-09-20
US Application No. 61/711,702 filed on 2012-10-09
US Application No. 14/049,096 filed on 2013-10-08

Collaboration Opportunity:

The NHLBI Laboratory of Single Molecule Biophysics is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize background-free imaging of fluorescent nanodiamonds for in vivo and in vitro applications. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Keir C. Neuman, Ph.D. at or 301-496-3376.

Licensing Contact:
Michael Shmilovich, J.D.
Phone: 301-435-5019

OTT Reference No: E-261-2012-0
Updated: Feb 21, 2013