This week in techniques



Licensing status

Publication and contact information

Assays & screens

Nanometer-scale thermometry in living cells

Nanometer-scale thermometry in living cells could be useful for monitoring cellular activity in response to stimuli and could aid the development of temperature-sensitive therapeutics. The thermometry approach uses diamond nanocrystals that act as temperature sensors and gold nanoparticles that act as light-sensitive local heating sources. In a single human fibroblast injected with the diamond nanocrystals and gold nanoparticles, laser-mediated heating of the gold nanoparticles generated controlled and localized temperature differences of up to 5 K over distances of about 7 mM within the cell. Next steps include improving the accuracy of the temperature measurements and developing a system to deliver the diamond nanocrystals to targeted organs.

SciBX 6(33); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.903
Published online Aug. 29, 2013

Provisional patent application filed; available for licensing

Kucsko, G. et al. Nature; published online July 31, 2013;
Contact: Mikhail D. Lukin, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.