The long-term stability and biocompatibility of fluorescent nanodiamond as an in vivo contrast agent

V. Vaijayanthimala, Po Yun Cheng, Shih Hua Yeh, Kuang Kai Liu, Cheng Hsiang Hsiao, Jui-I Chao, Huan Cheng Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


Nanocarbon is a promising type of biomaterial for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) containing nitrogen-vacancy centers as built-in fluorophores is a new addition to the nanocarbon family. Here, we study the long-term stability and biocompatibility of 100-nm FNDs in rats through intraperitoneal injection over 5 months and develop the potential application of this biomaterial for sentinel lymph node mapping in a mouse model. From both in vivo and ex vivo fluorescence imaging as well as transmission electron microscopy, we found that the intradermally administered FND particles can be drained from the injection sites by macrophages and selectively accumulated in the axillary lymph nodes of the treated mice. Our measurements of water consumption, fodder consumption, body weight, and organ index showed no significant difference between control and FND-treated groups of the rats. Histopathological analysis of various tissues and organs indicated that FNDs are non-toxic even when a large quantity, up to 75 mg/kg body weight, of the particles was administered intraperitoneally to the living animals. With the properties of wide-ranging biocompatibility and perfect chemical and photophysical stability, FND is well suited for use as a contrast agent for long-term in vivo imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7794-7802
Number of pages9
Issue number31
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Animal model
  • Biocompatibility
  • Diamond
  • Fluorescence
  • Nanoparticle
  • Sentinel lymph node


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