Cancer cell labeling and tracking using fluorescent and magnetic nanodiamond

Zhi Yi Lien, Tzu Chia Hsu, Kuang Kai Liu, Wei Siang Liao, Kuo Chu Hwang, Jui-I Chao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Nanodiamond, a promising carbon nanomaterial, develops for biomedical applications such as cancer cell labeling and detection. Here, we establish the nanodiamond-bearing cancer cell lines using the fluorescent and magnetic nanodiamond (FMND). Treatment with FMND particles did not significantly induce cytotoxicity and growth inhibition in HFL-1 normal lung fibroblasts and A549 lung cancer cells. The fluorescence intensities and particle complexities were increased in a time- and concentration-dependent manner by treatment with FMND particles in lung cancer cells; however, the existence of FMND particles inside the cells did not alter cellular size distribution. The FMND-bearing lung cancer cells could be separated by the fluorescent and magnetic properties of FMNDs using the flow cytometer and magnetic device, respectively. The FMND-bearing cancer cells were identified by the existence of FMNDs using flow cytometer and confocal microscope analysis. More importantly, the cell morphology, viability, growth ability and total protein expression profiles in the FMND-bearing cells were similar to those of the parental cells. The separated FMND-bearing cells with various generations were cryopreservation for further applications. After re-thawing the FMND-bearing cancer cell lines, the cells still retained the cell survival and growth ability. Additionally, a variety of human cancer types including colon (RKO), breast (MCF-7), cervical (HeLa), and bladder (BFTC905) cancer cells could be used the same strategy to prepare the FMND-bearing cancer cells. These results show that the FMND-bearing cancer cell lines, which reserve the parental cell functions, can be applied for specific cancer cell labeling and tracking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6172-6185
Number of pages14
Issue number26
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2012


  • Confocal microscope
  • Flow cytometer
  • Fluorescent and magnetic nanodiamond
  • Magnetic device
  • Nanodiamond-bearing cancer cells


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