FP7-DINAMO - Introduction

The objective of the DINAMO project is to develop the nanodiamond particle (NDP) non-invasive label-free nanotechnology sensing platform for real-time monitoring of (1) biomolecular processes inside (and outside) living cells, as modified by oncogenesis, (2) the kinetics of gene-assisted processes in the cells, in accordance with the Call objectives.

Dynamic information about biomolecular processes inside living cells is important for fundamental understanding of cellular functions, which is one of the primary targets of molecular cell-biology with important applications to pharmacology. One fundamental process, regulated through signal transduction mechanisms, is cell growth. In large part, alterations away from normal regulatory processes can lead to cancer. Such abnormal behavior can often be traced to alterations in cell signaling mechanisms, for instance those involving cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases, specific growth factors, the transcription apparatus and/or genes involved in the cell cycle and regulation of DNA replication etc. However, until recently, research into this field was limited mainly to indirect investigations of individual biomolecular components or in vitro to mainly optical techniques of analysis or assays. The reason for this has been a genuine lack of suitable label-free sensing techniques that can operate on the nanoscale without disrupting normal cellular function. Consequently in order for there to be further progress in this field, specifically for monitoring genomic processes, there is now an immense need for the development of novel sensing and detection techniques that can operate at submicroscopic resolution inside living cells and at the same time yield real-time information about local biomolecular interactions. This is of primary importance for the monitoring of cell processes in biology, biotechnology but also for health cancer-prevention and therapy applications.