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.
Composite Superconductors for Improved Quantum Coherence
Summary Conventional superconductors have trouble performing well in magnetic fields required for electron spin resonance (ESR) – based quantum information processing applications. We can, however, use proximity engineering to select desired properties from different materials and combine them for improved superconducting performance in magnetic fields — an improvement that would have strong implications for […]
December 12, 2018
Quantum State Tomography with Machine Learning
Summary An important challenge in building a quantum computer is quantifying the level of control obtained in the preparation of a quantum state. The state of a quantum device is characterized from experimental measurements, using a procedure known as tomography. Exact tomography requires a vast amount of computer resources, making it prohibitive for quantum […]
June 6, 2018
Coherent magnon generation, magnon condensation, and quantum spin liquids via spin pumping in 2D magnets
Summary Developing hybrid quantum systems is essential to harnessing the complementary advantages of different quantum technology platforms. This necessitates the successful transfer of quantum information between platforms, which can be achieved, e.g., by harnessing magnons, or spin wave excitations, in magnetic materials. Decoherence due to uncontrolled coupling of qubits to the environment remains a fundamental […]
February 1, 2023
Ultrafast Dynamical Studies of Valley-Based Qubits
Summary As monolayers, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) – such as tungsten diselenide (WSe2) – become direct-bandgap semiconductors capable of emitting light. Compared to conventional direct-bandgap semiconductors, such as III-V semiconductors like GaAs, excitons (quasiparticles made of an electron hole bound with an electron) and single-layer TMDCs (SL-TMDCs) have much stronger binding energy. Excitons and […]
June 29, 2018