This project — in collaboration with Sihong Wang’s group in biomedical engineering, CCNY —explores the connection between cancer and atypical thermogenesis at the single cell level. The central hypothesis is that, owing to different metabolic pathways, cancer cells have a different average temperature compared with healthy cells. Leveraging on our ability to probe temperature via the NV spin we are bringing this hypothesis to a test. The video clip below provides additional information on the practical aspects of the technique.
If successful, this methodology will lay the groundwork to cell thermometry with nanoscale localization, thereby adding a valuable set of tools for addressing a broad class of problems in cell biology and medicine. Among the possible applications is the characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTC), and the investigation of metabolic diseases.