SFB 1279 (2017-2020)
Project C04 – Fluorescent nanodiamonds as biocompatible markers and sensors for simultaneous peptide delivery and bioimaging (Fedor Jelezko, Yuzhou Wu)
One important prerequisite for the development of effective peptide drug delivery systems is the possibility to monitor the entire process of drug administration and subsequent trafficking in real time. To achieve this, the present project will couple fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) to antimicrobial and antineoplastic peptides examined within the CRC. FNDs are non-toxic and offer long-lasting emission at near infrared wavelengths. Thus, they represent a highly promising tool to monitor trafficking and target interactions of peptide drugs over extended time periods, which is a key step towards rationalization and improvement of drug delivery.
Project C06 – Hyperpolarized peptide-coated nanodiamonds for magnetic resonance imaging (Martin Plenio, Fedor Jelezko, Christian Buske)
Hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a promising tool to monitor the success of cancer treatment but currently requires extremely low temperatures and hour-long polarisation times. This project will use nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in nanodiamonds functionalized e.g. with cancer cell targeting peptides, to achieve a ~10,000-fold increase of the 13C nuclear spin polarisation at room temperature. Attachment of peptides to nanodiamonds might also allow to specifically target and detect cancer cells. Thus, this methodology greatly expands the possibilities for in vivo monitoring of molecular processes and holds great promise for biomedical research as well as cancer diagnostics and staging.