Silicon-Vacancy Nanodiamonds as High Performance Near-Infrared Emitters for Live-Cell Dual-Color Imaging

03 February 2021, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Intracellular imaging is limited by a short bleaching time of fluorescent molecules and particles. In our work we used nanodiamonds with silicon-vacancy centers (SiV) obtained by high-pressure high-temperature synthesis based on metal-catalyst-free growth. They are coated with a polypeptide biopolymer that allows efficient cellular uptake. Our results demonstrate that high photostability and narrow emission in the near-infrared region of nanodiamonds with SiV allow live-cell dual-color imaging and intracellular tracking. Such a system has broad potential applications, which is not limited to live-cell bioimaging, but also include diagnostic (SiV as a nanosized thermometer) and theranostic (nanodiamonds as drug carrier).


silicon vacancy color center
near infrared cellular imaging
live cell particle tracking

Supplementary materials

Liu 2021 SI 2


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