Opendata, web and dolomites


Nano-diamond tracers for MRI molecular imaging

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "NDI" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: ULM
postcode: 89081

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 147˙500 €
 EC max contribution 147˙500 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-PoC
 Funding Scheme ERC-POC
 Starting year 2014
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2014-12-01   to  2016-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAET ULM DE (ULM) coordinator 147˙500.00


 Project objective

'Molecular imaging is the current standard of care for the diagnosis (staging) of cancer, the evaluation of cancer treatment effectiveness, and is generating evidence as the best predictor for earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Molecular imaging differs from traditional imaging in that probes known as biomarkers are used to help image particular pathways. The goal is to image injected bio-active molecules (biomarkers) in vivo, allowing targeted imaging of the processes these molecules participate in. Currently, the most common clinical modality for molecular imaging is Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a nuclear imaging method with high costs that exposes patients to potentially harmful radiation. It is currently impossible to perform molecular imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners due to low molecular sensitivity.

Our primary goal is the development and commercialization of a novel technology for molecular imaging using existing MRI scanners, which could dramatically improve the early diagnosis of cancer and Alzheimer's disease, and serve as a platform for future medical research. We will develop a new 'tracer' agent for MRI, using nano-diamonds. Using a novel polarization scheme, as well as 13C enriched diamonds, we increase the nano-diamond MRI signal more than a 10,000,000-fold at room temperature. This will provide a solution for molecular imaging which is cheaper, does not expose patients to ionized radiation, and allows earlier diagnosis of cancer metastasis due to the superior spatial resolution of MRI.

The proposed project aims to bring this idea to the proof-of-concept level by demonstrating the imaging of cancerous tumors in a biological model, using an industrial MRI scanner and nano-diamond tracers. In parallel, we will also develop our future regulatory strategy, explore the market potential and secure potential customers. Ultimately, we intend to launch a company to bring this product to market.'


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2016 Jochen Scheuer, Ilai Schwartz, Qiong Chen, David Schulze-Sünninghausen, Patrick Carl, Peter Höfer, Alexander Retzker, Hitoshi Sumiya, Junichi Isoya, Burkhard Luy, Martin B. Plenio, Boris Naydenov, Fedor Jelezko
Optically induced dynamic nuclear spin polarisation in diamond
published pages: 013040 (2016), ISSN: 1367-2630, DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/18/1/013040
New J Phys 18 2019-07-22
2015 Q. Chen, I. Schwarz, F. Jelezko, A. Retzker, M. B. Plenio
Optical hyperpolarization of C 13 nuclear spins in nanodiamond ensembles
published pages: 184420, ISSN: 1098-0121, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.92.184420
Physical Review B 92/18 2019-07-22
2016 Qiong Chen, Ilai Schwarz, Fedor Jelezko, Alex Retzker, Martin B Plenio
Resonance-inclined optical nuclear spin polarization of liquids in diamond structures
published pages: 60408, ISSN: 1098-0121, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.060408
Phys Rev B 2019-07-22

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