Nano-diamonds are very small carbon particles that have a unique shape, similar to a soccer ball with more angular edges. In a study involving the nano-diamonds, Dr. Dean Ho, at the UCLA School of Dentistry, who conducted the study, says the nano-diamonds result in unique charge properties that make them useful for binding a variety of therapeutics, imaging and for delivering proteins. For implants, Dr. Ho says they were looking at dual-delivery of proteins, which appear to be bio-compatible, making them very applicable to both the dental and medical professions. Nano-diamonds have been studied as anti-microbial agents and with regard to bone growth, the study found that they can deliver virtually any type of therapeutic. Additionally, he says, they are delivered in a very sustained fashion that eliminates burst releases, which is when too much of a therapeutic is released too quickly.
Nano-diamonds can be used as a non-invasive injectible and it can enhance the efficacy by promoting long-term release and reducing toxicity associated with over-delivery, adds Dr. Ho.
Because of the versatility of this material, there's a lot of promise, he says and because of their regularly-shaped and non-invasive shape, the body handles it well. The next step is to validate their safety in a larger animal model. "Everything points to a pathway where we're excited to continue with their development," Dr. Ho says.
Dr. Dean Ho is the Co-Director of The Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology at the UCLA School of Dentistry. More information can be found about him here. Dr. Ho spoke with the Dentist News Network, providing online, on-demand, dental video content.