Nanodiamonds for Drug Delivery Applications

Nanodiamond powder is one of the most promising carbon nanomaterials for drug delivery applications. Diamond nanoparticles of ~5 nm in size offer a large accessible surface and tailorable surface chemistry; have unique optical, mechanical, and thermal properties; and are non-toxic. Although the potential of nanodiamond in drug delivery has been demonstrated, fundamental mechanisms, thermodynamics, and kinetics of drug adsorption on nanodiamond are still poorly understood. To fully exploit the potential of nanodiamond in drug delivery, attention must be paid to its purity, surface chemistry, dispersion quality, as well as to temperature, ionic composition, and other parameters of the environment that may influence drug adsorption and desorption on nanodiamond. Surface modification of nanodiamond and its effects on adsorption equilibria of several important drugs representative of different classes, including antibiotics, chemotherapeutic, and anti-inflammatory drugs, are currently being explored by our group. With the help of our collaborators both at Drexel and abroad, we are working towards integrating these ND-based drug delivery systems into the body to fight infection and disease.


  1. VN. Mochalin, O. Shenderova, D. Ho, Y. Gogotsi, The properties and applications of nanodiamonds, Nature Nanotechnology, 7, 1, (2011), 11-23
  2. Giammarco, James, Vadym N. Mochalin, James Haeckel, and Yury Gogotsi. “The adsorption of tetracycline and vancomycin onto nanodiamond with controlled release.”Journal of colloid and interface science468 (2016): 253-261.
  3. Mochalin, Vadym N., Amanda Pentecost, Xue-Mei Li, Ioannis Neitzel, Matthew Nelson, Chongyang Wei, Tao He, Fang Guo, and Yury Gogotsi. “Adsorption of drugs on nanodiamond: toward development of a drug delivery platform.”Molecular pharmaceutics10, no. 10 (2013): 3728-3735.



Fig. 1: We currently are engaged in multiple collaborative projects that use nanodiamond as a drug delivery platform for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, bacterial infections, and cancer.