Towards endoscopic magnetic field sensors for biomedical applications

On Wednesday 25th of October, we had our weekly AMOPP seminar by Dr. Arne Wickenbrock from the Budker Group at the Helmholtz Institute of Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, Germany. His research spans a wide range of fields including dark matter and dark energy constituents (GNOMECASPEr), zero- and ultralow-field nuclear magnetic resonance (ZULF-NMR) and many more. But this time his talk was actually focused on using Nitrogen-Vacancy centers in diamond as a means of detection for small magnetic fields, in the hopes of being able to use this as a medical diagnosis technique in the near future. The abstract for his talk can be found below.

Abstract:

Towards endoscopic magnetic field sensors for
biomedical applications
Arne Wickenbrock1,2, Georgios Chatzidrosos1, Huijie Zheng1, Lykourgos Bougas1, Dmitry
Budker1,2,3
1Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany,
2Helmholtz Institut Mainz, Mainz, Germany,
3Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7300, USA
 
We propose and report on the progress towards a miniaturized endoscopic magnetic field sensor based on color center ensembles in diamond. The unique design of the sensor enables spatially resolved in-vivo measurements of static and oscillating magnetic fields with a broad bandwidth and high sensitivity. An endoscopic magnetometer could boost the size of magnetic signals of the heart, the brain or other organs due to the reduced distance to the underlying current densities. The high-bandwidth of the device enables spatially resolved methods for tissue discrimination such as nuclear magnetic resonance or eddy-current detection in vivo.  
An endoscopic sensor motivates two simultaneous approaches, firstly, we present a highly sensitive magnetometer that measures magnetic fields by monitoring cavity-enhanced absorption on the singlet transition of the negatively charged nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond under radio-frequency irradiation and optical pumping with a green laser. We achieve shot-noise limited performance with sensitivities better than 30 pT/Hz1/2 [1].
Secondly, the rapidly changing environment in the human body as well as exposure limits for electromagnetic radiation motivate the use of a microwave-free magnetometer. We demonstrated such a device based on a narrow magnetic feature due to the ground-state level anticrossing (GSLAC) of the NV center at a background field of 102 mT to measure magnetic fields without microwaves [2]. Additionally, we plan to combine the NV center magnetometer with a much more sensitive alkali vapor cell magnetometer to build a novel brain-machine interface at room temperature and in an unshielded environment. 
 
[1] G. Chatzidrosos, A. Wickenbrock, L. Bougas, N. Leefer, T. Wu, K. Jensen, Y. Dumeige, and D. Budker, Miniature cavity-enhanced diamond magnetometer, in preparation, 2017.
[2] A. Wickenbrock, H. Zheng, L. Bougas, N. Leefer, S. Afach, A. Jarmola, V. M. Acosta, and D. Budker, Microwave-free magnetometry with nitrogenvacancy centers in diamond, Applied Physics Letters 109, 053505 (2016)
[3] H. Zheng, G. Chatzidrosos, A. Wickenbrock, L. Bougas, R. Lazda, A. Berzins, F. H.Gahbauer, M. Auzinsh, R. Ferber, and D. Budker, Level anticrossing magnetometry with color centers in diamond, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 10119 101190X-1, 2017.

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