Interfacing fluorescent nanodiamonds with CRISPR for ultrasensitive quantum diagnostics


  • Dr Benjamin Miller

    University College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

There is an urgent need for rapid, low-cost, sensitive diagnostic tests suitable for low-resource settings, including self-testing, and quickly adaptable to new diseases to control epidemics. Nanoparticle-based diagnostics, such as lateral flow tests, meet many of these requirements, but often lack analytical sensitivity: the ability to detect low amounts of disease biomarkers. I aim to use nanodiamond particles to develop sensitive diagnostic tools. Nitrogen atoms with adjacent vacancies in the lattice cause nanodiamonds to fluoresce, emitting light that can be detected to measure biomarker concentrations. They are stable, low-cost, non-toxic, and importantly, this emitted light can be selectively manipulated using electromagnetic fields. I will use these unique properties to develop platform technologies to allow: application to a wider range of biomarkers, improvements in both sensitivity and specificity, and reduced duration of DNA diagnostics. This will reduce the barriers to adoption of nanoparticle-based diagnostics for disease detection and host response assessment.