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Nanocrystalline Diamond—An Excellent Platform for Life Science Applications

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Nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) has recently been successfully utilized in a variety of life science applications. NCD films are favorable and salubrious substrates for cells during cultivation. Therefore NCD has also been employed in tissue engineering strategies. NCD as reported in this contribution was grown by means of a modified hot-filament chemical vapor deposition technique, which results in less than 3% sp2-hybridization and yields grain sizes of 5–20 nm. After production the NCD surface was rather hydrophobic, however it could be efficiently refined to exhibit more hydrophilic properties. Changing of the surface structure was found to be an efficient means to influence growth and differentiation capacity of a variety of cells. The particular needs for any given cell type has to be proven empirically. Yet flexible features of NCD appear to be superior to plastic surfaces which can be hardly changed in quality. Besides its molecular properties, crystal structural peculiarities of NCD appear to influence cell growth as well. In our attempt to facilitate, highly specialized applications in biomedicine, we recently discovered that growth factors can be tightly bound to NCD by mere physisorption. Hence, combination of surface functionalization together with further options to coat NCD with any kind of three-dimensional structure opens up new avenues for many more applications. In fact, high through-put protein profiling of early disease stages may become possible from serum samples, because proteins bound to NCD can now be efficiently analyzed by MALDI/TOF-MS. Given these results, it is to be presumed that the physical properties and effective electrochemical characteristics of NCD will allow tailoring devices suitable for many more diagnostic as well as therapeutic applications.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-12-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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