People Undergoing Root Canals May Have Gained A Powerful Yet Tiny New Ally — Diamonds

People undergoing root canals may have gained a powerful yet tiny new ally — diamonds.

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More than 15 million painful-yet-necessary root canal procedures are performed in the U.S. each year to protect us from tooth infections. But complications such as infection can arise post-surgery. Teeth infections can lead to tooth loss which is something the UCLA School of Dentistry is trying to prevent! In a new study at UCLA, they have found that these post-surgery infections can be warded off by a girl’s best friend: diamonds!

Nanodiamonds, specifically, were the subject of the researchers’ study. Thousands of times smaller than a human hair, at about four to five nanometers in diameter, nanodiamonds have the shape of very tiny soccer balls and are the byproduct of diamond mining and refining. They’ve also been widely explored for use in dentistry, cancer therapy, and regenerative medicine, among other applications. Combining the nanodiamonds with current root canal therapy, scientists at UCLA fortified a material that could significantly improve the outcomes of root canal patients.

Typically during a root canal, the area inside a tooth where there are nerves and blood vessels are is removed by dentists and refilled with a polymer called “gutta percha.” The purpose of the polymer is to act as a sealant and prevent future infection. However, gutta percha isn’t always successful in ridding a tooth of infection, in part due to the material not being a complete solid.

Using a compound that consisted of nanodiamonds and the traditional gutta percha mixture, the team at UCLA conducted an experiment on human teeth. One set of teeth was tested with nanodiamond-reinforced gutta percha while another set was tested with gutta percha by itself.

The traditional gutta percha mixture left small gaps in the canal — making the tooth susceptible to harmful bacteria. However, as predicted, the nanodiamond gutta percha mixture proved much stronger than traditional methods. By eliminating space for bacteria to fill within the tooth, the nanodiamond mixture allowed for a lower chance of infections or other complications following a root canal.

“The nanodiamond-enhanced gutta percha combines many desirable properties into a single platform, including vastly improved mechanical characteristics and the ability to combat bacterial infection following a root canal,” said UCLA study author Dong-Keun Lee in a press release.

Over the next two years, the team plans to optimize the nanodiamond-reinforced gutta percha formulation, and begin clinical trials at UCLA. To read more about this study or future research at The UCLA School of Dentistry, click here.

What Makes a Good Diamond?

Mark Bronner Diamonds

Diamonds: Much More Than Just a Girl’s Best Friend

Mark Bronner DiamondsYesterday, an astonishing article was published by Tech Times about how synthetic diamonds are being used for early detection and treatment of some of the most aggressive cancers. Seems like diamonds can really be even more than a girl’s best friend, doesn’t it?

According to the article, “Physicists at the University of Sydney’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems have found a way to use nanoscale or synthetic “diamonds” to identify cancerous tumors before they turn life-threatening” (Pascual, Synthetic Diamonds Offer Hope for Early and Effective Treatment of Deadly Cancers). This research is groundbreaking and proves that diamonds are much more than just aesthetically pleasing.

The study developed by physicists at the University of Sydney was published recently in Nature Communications, and proved that synthetic diamonds are a more readily accessible way to detect early-stage cancers throughout MRI scans. In addition, the article noted that, “Lead researcher and physics professor David Reilly highlighted the nontoxic, nonreactive nature of nanodiamonds, making them potentially useful in drug delivery during chemotherapy,” (Pascual, Synthetic Diamonds Offer Hope for Early and Effective Treatment of Deadly Cancers).

By magnetizing the atoms inside of the diamond, they light up on an MRI scan and are then attached to cancer-targeting chemicals. After the MRI, the diamonds are placed into the body, tracked, and will light up on the scan if there is cancer present within the body. Professor Reilly explains the beauty and effectiveness of the physics behind this research, stating:

“‘We effectively turned a pharmaceutical problem into a physics problem’… citing that the team  hyperpolarized nanodiamonds or aligned atoms inside them to create an MRI-detectable signal,” (Pascual, Synthetic Diamonds Offer Hope for Early and Effective Treatment of Deadly Cancers).

Mark Bronner Diamonds

The study proved that experts at quantum physics can use their knowledge to debatably solve these real-world problems, especially in terms of targeting and detecting cancers that are otherwise difficult to find. Certain cancers, such as brain and pancreatic, are usually only detectable in later stages – but, using synthetic diamonds can offer detection much earlier, especially for those with a family history of these types of cancers.

It seems as though diamonds have opened a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to quantum physics and cancer screening, which will help save an astounding number of lives.

 

Diamonds Crystallizing From Seawater

In recent studies, scientists have discovered that diamonds crystallize from ancients saltwaters going back as far as 200 million year ago and plan on using this information to help figure out how exactly diamonds form. If found, it would be paramount for the diamond industry and might eliminate the infamous “blood diamonds” as this has been causing damages for decades.

Mark Bronner DiamondsGeochemist at Columbia University, Yaakov Weiss says, “We can look at diamonds as time capsules, as messengers from a place we have no other way of seeing.” This is an interesting way to conceptualize the expensive precious stones that have been a symbol of affluence as long as time.

Researchers hypothesize that the gems begin to crystallize from the extraordinary heat and pressure in the Earth’s mantle layer located about 90 to 100 miles below the surface. The deepest diamond found came from 430 miles below the surface. Volcanic action and eruptions bring the precious stones to the surface with some dating back as far as 2.1 billion years ago. They surface in rock formations called kimberlites. Of about 2,000 known kimberlites, only around 60 were worth mining.

It is believed that diamonds crystallize in these conditions with the aid of a fluid though it hasn’t been proven or agreed upon on what exactly that fluid is. Many agree that both poor and high quality diamonds  from this same fluid though. Weiss commented, “Personally, I am among those that think that most diamonds form in a similar way.”

In the Ekati Diamond Mine located in Canada, geochemists have been studying and analyzing fluid inclusions in the formation of diamonds in hopes to discover what the mystery fluid is that the changes their structure. The diamonds used for this process are usually flawed with impurities.  Eleven fibrous (multilevel) diamonds were used to conduct their study. What they found was that the fluid was salty and filled with sodium, chlorine, and potassium. All the characteristics of seawater.

This “seawater” could be evidence that the Earth’s oceanic crust is having a chemical reaction and creating a mixture with solid rock, allowing the diamonds to crystalize. Although more study and examination is necessary, this information could also mark a change and create a new wave in mining. This could also spark a boost in the declining market.

Queen of Philanthropy

Mark Bronner Diamonds 55b46a307dbb6.imagePageants are renowned for churning out crown-worthy queens, each with their own “personal mission” to answer the many questions thrown at them during the Q&A portions of their competition. Topics range from solving world hunger, to fighting the AIDS epidemic, but few winners make good on their promises to change the world. McAlester’s pageant winner, Sanders, is looking to change that tradition.

Many philanthropic issues are used as a stage, a platform for attention. Sanders feels that if you’re to champion a cause, it needs to be seen through. “One in four children in America will grow up without learning how to read,” Sanders says. “Two out of three children who cannot read by 4th grade end up in jail or on welfare.” Pioneering her program “The Storybook Exchange,” Sanders hopes to get books into the hands of those young minds who so desperately need to be stimulated.

During the years following her coronation, Sanders’ program was able to give away 15,000 books to children in the surrounding area thanks in part to financial support from corporate sponsors. With lofty goals for this year, the philanthropic spirit still burns brightly inside this pageant queen. “This year I hope to give away 25,000 books, and this year we hope to get $5,000 [in corporate donations].” Encouraging anyone to give whatever they can, Miss McAlester believes that no donation is too small.

In a time where promises made eclipse promises fulfilled, Miss McAlester has risen above her peers. Deserving of the crown placed upon her head, this queen will not let her reign pass unmarked. Giving the gift of education, inspiration, and imagination to thousands is a treasure beyond measure, and one the people of McAlester are sure to remember. For more on the queen who truly rules, follow the link here.