Our main goal is to pioneer nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging for biomedical applications

Diamond magnetometry allows reading out a magnetic resonance signals in the nanoscale. The method is based on a fluorescent defect in diamond which changes its optical properties based on its magnetic surrounding. Thus, it combines the advantages of both magnetic resonance imaging (functional contrast, spectral information) and fluorescence imaging (sensitive, high spatial resolution, easy, inexpensive). This is so sensitive that it allows the detection of single electron spins or even a few nuclear spins. Our aim is to apply this method to visualize, free radical metabolism (an indicator for stress in cells) inside living cells.

Relevance

How our research benefits to society

Free radicals play a key role in many different processes in biology including cell communication, immune responses and cell development and metabolism. Additionally, they are often built when cells are under stress. As a result, they play a key role in ageing as well as all kinds of diseases including the ones responsible for the most deaths worldwide as cancer, cardiovascular diseases or bacterial or viral infections. Unfortunately, they are short lived and reactive and thus very difficult to measure. The aim of the group is change that. We are adapting new methods from quantum physics to address this challenge. Knowing more about radical formation at the nanoscale will improve our understanding of how diseases or processes in cells work. Additionally, we are hoping to gain knowledge on how drugs work or which drugs candidates are promising.

Contact

Department of Biomedical Engineering
University Medical Center Groningen
A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands