Tiny Tech #24: Nanodiamonds are Forever

Today from the world of Tiny Tech:

“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” sang Marilyn Monroe in “Gentleman Prefer Blondes.” However nanodiamonds may become everyone’s best friend!

Nanodiamonds are diamonds with sizes below a micron, a millionth of a meter. They are synthesized commercially by controlled explosions in special stainless steel pressure vessels. The nanodiamonds share many of the desirable properties of much larger diamonds – they are hard, biochemically compatible, and chemically stable.

Nanodiamonds have many possible technological applications, from serving as the grit in abrasive polishes to medical uses as non-toxic carriers for drug delivery. They have been tested for delivery of chemotherapy in the treatment of drug-resistant breast cancer and for delivery of biologically-active compounds that stimulate bone and cartilage regrowth. Because of their interesting electrical properties, they have even been investigated for use in artificial retinas to help the blind regain some vision. As if this is not enough, nanodiamonds are also nano-compasses that can sense magnetic fields!

Developing these technologies may change our world since, after all, “nano”- diamonds are forever!

Tiny Tech is made possible by the National Science Foundation and WUFT.  To learn more about Tiny Tech, go to tinytechradio.org.

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