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Nano Lett. 2013 Jul 10;13(7):3305-9. doi: 10.1021/nl4015233. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Detection of a few metallo-protein molecules using color centers in nanodiamonds.

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Institut für Quantenoptik and IQST, ‡Institut für Organische Chemie III and IQST, §Institut für Theoretische Physik and IQST, and ∥Materialwissenschaftliche Elektronenmikroskopie and IQST, Albert-Einstein Allee 11, Universität Ulm , 89069 Ulm, Germany.


Nanometer-sized diamonds containing nitrogen-vacancy defect centers (NV) are promising nanosensors in biological environments due to their biocompatibility, bright fluorescence, and high magnetic sensitivity at ambient conditions. Here we report on the detection of ferritin molecules using magnetic noise induced by the inner paramagnetic iron as a contrast mechanism. We observe a significant reduction of both coherence and relaxation time due to the presence of ferritin on the surface of nanodiamonds. Our theoretical model is in excellent agreement with the experimental data and establishes this method as a novel sensing technology for proteins.

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