Nanodiamonds (NDs) containing silicon vacancy (SiV) defects were evaluated as a potential biomarker for the labeling and fluorescent imaging of neural precursor cells (NPCs). SiV-containing NDs were synthesized using chemical vapor deposition and silicon ion implantation. Spectrally, SiV-containing NDs exhibited extremely stable fluorescence and narrow bandwidth emission with an excellent signal to noise ratio exceeding that of NDs containing nitrogen-vacancy centers. NPCs labeled with NDs exhibited normal cell viability and proliferative properties consistent with biocompatibility. We conclude that SiV-containing NDs are a promising biomedical research tool for cellular labeling and optical imaging in stem cell research.
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