A reasearcher from the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University Medical Center of Groningen (Netherlands) has discovered a new technique that could form the basis for new cancer medications. The technique would introduce nano-diamonds into living cancer cells to detect the behavior of free radicals. Free radicals can damage healthy cells and cause cancer, but they only exist for a fraction of a second, making it difficult to identify and study them. The fluorescent nano-diamonds can 'sense' the radicals' magnetic fields and react by changing brightness, making it easier to identify and study the radicals.
Schirhagl and her team are currently seeking support through crowdfunding; the nano-diamonds are very cheap, but the special microscopes required are outside the reach of the current budget.