Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) are one of the new and very promising biocompatible nanomaterials that can be used both as a fluorescence imaging agent and a highly versatile platform for controlled functionalization to target and deliver a wide spectrum of therapeutic agents. Among the remarkable fluorescence properties are excellent photostability, emission between 600-700nm, quantum yield of 1 and moderately long fluorescence lifetimes. However the low absorption cross section of fluorescent (N-V)-centers limits FNDs' brightness. In this work we show that an approach based on the Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) may significantly enhance the fluorescence signal observed from a single ND. We demonstrate that organic dyes (fluorophores) attached to the FND surface can efficiently transfer the excitation energy to (N-V)-centers. Multiple dyes positioned in close proximity to the ND facile surface may serve as harvesting antennas transferring excitation energy to the fluorescent centers. We propose that, with the help of some of the functional groups present on the FND surface, we can either directly link flurophores or use scalable dendrimer chemistry to position many organic dyes at a calibrated distance. Also, the remaining multiple functional groups will be still available for particle targeting and drug delivery. This opens a new way for designing a new type of theranostics particles of ultrahigh brightness, high photostability, specific targeting, and high capacity for drug delivery.
- Fluorescence nanodiamonds
- Forester resonance energy transfer (FRET)