Chemotherapy is limited by the failure to clinically monitor the efficacy of the treatment in real-time, which results in suboptimal chemotherapy being given for a prolonged period. Predicting the outcome of chemotherapy immediately after drug administration can increase diagnostic accuracy, efficacy outcomes, and successful treatment. Quantum nanodiamond sensors can be used as optical sensors and drug delivery probes for chemotherapy. In particular, nanodiamonds containing nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers can serve as attractive probes for optically sensing chemical reactions and biological processes, thanks to their small size, bio-compatibility, and fluorescent properties of the NV centers. This work focuses on variations in the relaxation time in the nanodiamond NV centers, which change when the nanodiamonds are brought into proximity to Gadolinium (Gd) ions – for example, by using a peptide sequence as a connector between the nanodiamond and a Gd compound – and can be optically monitored. The experiment will investigate one type of action of chemotherapeutic drugs, which is to induce cell death (apoptosis) of the cancer cells. Specific enzymes released during apoptosis can cut the connection between the nanodiamonds and Gd, separating NVs from the Gd and decreasing the relaxation rate. Thus, observing the differences in relaxation rate upon chemotherapy allows the drug’s efficacy to be immediately monitored.
Figure 1. A specific enzyme (Caspase 3) is released in the presence of an effective chemotherapeutic drug, resulting in the separation of nanodiamonds and Gd and decreasing the relaxation rate.
Quantum Sensing with Small Quantum Systems
Summary There are small quantum systems over which we have very good control and which have long lifetimes. Examples include the phosphorous (P) defect in silicon (Si) and the nitrogen vacancy (NV) defect in diamond. With P defect in Si, we focus on improving our understanding of the hyperpolarization mechanism to better enable engineering of […]
December 1, 2016
Combined momentum- and real-space photoelectric probes of dimensionality-tuned Weyl semimetals
Summary The library of two-dimensional (2D) materials has recently grown to include topological insulators and semimetals. Their incorporation in special device geometries may lead to novel quantum electronics with enhanced functionalities. Weyl semimetals, in particular, offer the most robust form of topological protection. Recent results from our group indicate that Weyl nodes should be […]
March 12, 2019
Mesoscopic systems as coherent control elements
Summary Mesoscopic systems provide a new tool for quantum systems design. In particular, they are enabling of robust quantum control. Here “mesoscopic system” refers to a connected network where each element, if studied alone, would be a quantum bit. The network is too big to be treated fully quantum mechanically. We do not have individual […]
September 1, 2016
Novel Superconducting Qubits for Error-Corrected Processors
Summary In this project, we develop novel superconducting qubits for error-corrected processors to enable large-scale quantum computing. Our design efforts will specifically target error-corrected architectures through a variety of paths. Possible features will include built-in parity measurements and the use of bosonic codes, such as Fock state and Cat codes, as our starting focus. Early […]
June 26, 2019