Diamond Thermometer Can Take The Temperature Of A Single Cell

Miniature diamonds more usually found in quantum computers, combined with fragments of gold, can be used to measure the temperature of individual cells. That could lead to a more accurate way to kill cancers while sparing healthy tissue – and a new way to explore cell behaviour.

Diamond Thermometer

Diamond is actually an excellent heat conductor. When blasted with green laser, nitrogen impurities inside diamond particles emit red light that changes intensity depending on temperature. This behaviour, discovered accidentally by researchers studying quantum computing, led scientists to inject nano-sized diamond crystals into cells and analyse the red light to measure internal temperature. They found that the diamond thermometers are 10 times as sensitive as other techniques, able to detect changes as small as 0.05°C. The diamond particles can even let scientists compare temps between two parts of the same cell. Learn more here or here.


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