Diamond, which is known for its hardness and wear resistance, has been used in machining for hundreds of years as a super-hard tool material. Besides, it also has the advantages of good stability and biocompatibility, which is in line with the material requirements of surgical tools used for tissue resection. Therefore, it is also very popular in medical tools. In this article, we will introduce the super performance of diamond in the medical field.
Usage of diamonds in medical tools:
According to the type of diamond, it can be divided into natural diamonds and artificial mono crystalline diamonds. The former is used for the material of the blades for surgical knives, while the latter is used for the coating of the blades.
During the operation, the extrusion and tearing of the surgical site by the diamond cutter are small, and the wound edges are neat and easy to heal. Currently, it is mainly used in ophthalmology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, and stomatology, as well as biological tissue sections.
Human implants have been a hot topic in the field of medicine in recent years. However, in order to meet the physiological and mechanical environment of the human body, implant materials should first have good abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance, biocompatibility, and even regeneration performance.
The selection of implantation materials varies according to the implanted tissues, among which diamond materials have promising prospects in the fields of Stomatology and orthopedics.
Usage of Diamonds in the department of Stomatology
When the clinical dental materials are resin materials, cobalt-chromium alloy and pure titanium that have certain wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility, they are not ideal.
Nano-amorphous diamond has the characteristics of both diamond and materials, such as high hardness, high corrosion resistance, high surface activity, high transparency, high wear resistance, and good biocompatibility, so it is a more ideal oral material.
Diamonds usage in Orthopedics
Diamond can be used as a coating material for artificial joints. Traditional medical implants often use cobalt, chromium and nickel, but some patients are allergic to the metals or have a reaction to them. The diamond coating has good biocompatibility. It will not cause a human rejection reaction and has the antibacterial property to inhibit the breeding of bacteria.
In the field of Medicine
With the continuous progress of nanotechnology, scientists began to actively make use of the unique characteristics of nano-diamond particles, such as inertia and biocompatibility, in the field of medicine, including drug loading, labeling, protein separation, anti-cancer treatment, and sterilization.
Drug Carrier Material
The crystal surface of the nanocrystalline diamond has many functional groups, which can combine with drugs by the covalent bond or non-covalent bond, and transport drugs to target cells and organs for the use of drugs.
For example, the surface of diamond can absorb insulin, maintain insulin activity and regulate release to achieve the best therapeutic effect; when diamond is used to adsorb lysozyme, it can form lysozyme complex with higher antibacterial activity and non-invasiveness.
Diamonds In Cell making
Diamond has stable chemical properties. It is not easy to react with other materials and is a non-toxic and non-light bleaching agent. However, it can fluoresce, which makes nano-diamonds more suitable for cell marking than other fluorescent markers.
Usage of Diamonds in Separation of Proteins
Diamond has a large specific surface area, and the surface of the carboxyl, inner lipid, hydroxyl, ketone and alkyl affinity of proteins, so nano-diamond can be used for protein separation. Its advantages include simplifying the process of protein purification, shortening the time of separation and eliminating special chromatographic equipment, etc.
Significance of Diamonds in Cancer Therapy
Scientists are experimenting with the use of Diamonds within the human body. These miniscule diamonds, a hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair, can safely coat the digestive tract. By applying a thin coat of sugar proteins or other safe chemicals, those same diamonds will pass through the walls of the intestine and attach themselves to specific types of cells, depending on the coating used. Scientists could isolate cancer cells, white blood cells, or even damaged tissue.
The research is currently being performed on earthworms. After the worms ingest the diamond powder, scientists can run a special yellow light over the worm’s body. The yellow light is absorbed into the diamonds. In return, they emit a purple light, allowing researchers to see where the dust has collected. Diamonds are non-toxic, so they are safe to use in humans. This research will likely lead to the use of diamonds in advanced medical imaging, but their potential is much more far reaching.
Once scientists work out a way to deliver these diamonds to specific areas of the body, they can be used for much more than just imaging. The diamonds can deliver medicines to exact areas of the body, improving treatment options for everything from infections to cancer. They could also be used to track stem-cells. This could, with enough time and research, allow doctors to improve immune responses, regrow damaged nerves, or even regenerate damaged organs. These advances could still be decades off, but they wouldn’t be possible without the use of diamonds.
Not all medical advancements involving diamonds are decades away. Diamonds are now starting to be used in new chemotherapy patches. US researchers developed a patch that is coated with tiny, dust-like diamonds. The patch is placed over the tumor, and the diamonds slowly release the chemotherapy drugs directly into the growth. It is hoped that these new patches will reduce the number and severity of the side effects currently associated with chemotherapy treatment.
Not only do they have the potential to give doctors a new look at the inside of the human body and to help treat cancer patients, micro-diamonds are also being used in microscopes to analyze living human cells in ways not currently possible through regular medical equipment. The diamonds provide better magnifying power than glass alone, letting scientists view individual molecules. The potential for new ways to diagnose and treat certain conditions is huge, once this develops past the testing stage.
Diamonds are also paving the way for improved x-ray technology. Unlike the medical advancements using diamond dust, new x-ray lasers could rely on flawless diamonds, creating a concentrated, high-powered laser that would allow doctors and scientists to see small objects in with much better detail than the current machines allow. Unfortunately, the level of perfection required of these diamonds is nearly impossible to obtain in nature. If the scientific and medical communities decide to take this approach to improving x-ray technology, the diamonds used would most likely be lab-made synthetics.