2018 Volume 15 Pages 229-234
Thermometers play an important role to study the biological significance of temperature. Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) with negatively-charged nitrogen-vacancy centers, a novel type of fluorescence-based temperature sensor, have physicochemical inertness, low cytotoxicity, extremely stable fluorescence, and unique magneto-optical properties that allow us to measure the temperature at the nanoscale level inside single cells. Here, we demonstrate that the thermosensing ability of FNDs is hardly influenced by environmental factors, such as pH, ion concentration, viscosity, molecular interaction, and organic solvent. This robustness renders FNDs reliable thermometers even under complex biological cellular environment. Moreover, the simple protocol developed here for measuring the absolute temperature inside a single cell using a single FND enables successful temperature measurement in a cell with an accuracy better than ±1°C.