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Healing Wounds With Diamonds 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the 14-carats-and-23-stiches dept.
A team at Northwestern University, led by Dean Ho, has discovered that nanodiamonds are a wound's best friend. Insulin is very attracted to nanodiamonds and in addition to regulating blood sugar, insulin can accelerate the healing process and stave off infection in wound sites. Since the tiny diamond can be easily placed in a wound without causing further damage, this is an excellent way to get an increased amount of insulin there as well. From the article, "A substantial amount of insulin can be loaded onto the nanodiamonds, which have a high surface area. The nanodiamond-insulin clusters, by releasing insulin in alkaline wound areas, could accelerate the healing process and decrease the incidence of infection. Ho says this ability to release therapeutics from the nanodiamonds on demand represents an exciting strategy towards enhancing the specificity of wound treatment."

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Healing Wounds With Diamonds

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  • I'm sure there's a darn funny off color joke in there about diamonds being a womans best friend... but I'm going to not open up any wounds.

  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    The article leaves a lot to be desired. Can anyone explain why it is that insulin's attracted to diamonds, or more specifically, nanodiamonds?

    Apart from the "insulin = women" comments we're sure to get, I'm seriously wondering why.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by notarockstar1979 (1521239) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:44PM (#28854525) Journal
      Magic. If it were anything else they would have stated it in the article.
    • Because God made it that way, duh!
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by cfa22 (1594513) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @01:53PM (#28855687)
      The insulin molecule has two patches on its surface that are predominantly hydrophobic (water-hating) that likely help it to stick to the pure-carbon surface of (nano)diamond. The "nano" bit just insures there is a large amount of surface area for insulin to stick to per unit mass of diamond. The investigators only showed that their nanodiamonds can suck up a lot of insulin; they are far from proving their insulin-loaded nanodiamonds are useful for wound-healing. The investigators only speculate that insulin would act as a growth hormone (generally thought to be its minor function; the major function being the transsystem signal for organism-wide glucose homeostasis). They point out the pH in a typical wound could approach 10.5, which would facilitate insulin release from nanodiamonds. (Such increases in alkalinity in beta cells, the pacreatic cells that produce insulin, are thought to trigger its release.) Unfortunately, it might also compromise insulin's ability to dock with its receptor, a necessary requirement for its function (either as a growth hormone or in glucose regulation). Directly injecting insulin into wounds speeds healing (sometimes by 50%) (Zhang et al, J. Surg. Res. 142:90 (2007) link [doi.org]), so it seems like the investigators have a plausible path to follow.
    • Well you see insulin is allot like women, they can make you weak and pass out into a deep peaceful sleep slumber, but not enough can cause hyperglycemic shock leading to coma and eventually death. Uncanny. On a side note, what's the cost of treatment? I'm assuming this won't be available on the NHS.
  • bling wound (Score:3, Funny)

    by L3370 (1421413) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:18PM (#28854039)
    In other news...Debeers has just entered the Health care industry.
  • Good luck getting your HMO to cover diamonds.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by vintagepc (1388833)
      What does the Harbour Master's Office have to do with this?
      • Yeah. What is an HMO? I hear them referenced in American TV shows and commercials all the time. Is it some sort of not-quite-a-doctor, not-exactly-a-pharmacist health care professional or something?
        • Re:Good luck (Score:4, Informative)

          by GiMP (10923) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @01:18PM (#28855119)

          HMO is "health maintenance organization". Remember, we do not have national medicine in the USA, we instead have medical insurance companies. There are two primary types of plans one can get, an HMO or a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), the difference is in which doctors you can see, how much you pay, and the process through which you must visit specialists.

          • So basically it's the "body shop" that the insurance company runs.
            • by EMeta (860558)
              No, HMOs don't actually do anything. They are just the insurance companies, approving or disapproving your claims.
        • Probably a fancy name for third-year med student that doesn't include 'student', 'trainee',etc.
      • Well, have you ever tried getting a Harbour Master to pay for your nanodiamonds? It's damn near impossible. I've tried; all they do is look at you like you're out of your mind or something. They're tighter then a Health Maintenance Organization, even.
        • Pretty much the only thing they'll pay for is somewhat-corny kids TV shows involving talking tugboats :D
  • Yay! Now when your GF wants a diamond all she has to is fall and scrape a knee...
  • Remember when Nelly and a bunch of other Rappers put little bandages on their faces? Now its going to come back... AS BLING...

  • So in the future, we'll all have superhuman healing abilities and sparkle like our skin is covered in millions of diamonds?

    Stephanie Meyer: modern day prophet.

  • by ptelligence (685287) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:22PM (#28854115)
    Blood Diamonds
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:22PM (#28854119)

    The power of healing crystals finally comes true. Far out.

  • Diamonds often help to heal love's wounds as well.
    • by Zakabog (603757)

      Diamonds often help to heal love's wounds as well.

      It's not quite healing love's wounds so much as bribing your partner to forget the wounds.

  • How easy is it to make nano-diamonds anyways? I'm wondering if there's a cheap way to make graphite on the small scale to order themselves like a diamond for at least a short period of time.
  • Big Pharma will price this so high that people that could really benefit from this will only be the rich.
  • First stories in the Onion come true [wikipedia.org], now South Park's cure for AIDS? [wikipedia.org]

    Crazy world.

    - RG>

  • by jameskojiro (705701) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:40PM (#28854457) Journal

    Imagine what kind of Health insurance you would have to get for diamond treatment. You would have premiums of 10,000.00 a month.
    .
    Of course when we all have to go to Government run health care like Canada, we will have to wait in line for 3months for wound treatment and instead of nano-diamonds, we will have to make do with cubic zirconium dust covered in aspirin.
    .
    Thanks you scientists! It will end up being more effective to pray to Jesus to heal your wounds.

    • Why would health care cost increase? If excluding diamond treatment from insurance plans allows health care companies to make more money then it makes business sense not to cover diamond treatment, wouldn't it?

    • Diamonds are priced high by a cartel on supply aren't they? So as long as the cartel gets higher volume sales they should reduce prices. Or we could invade them...

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There is no reason to use wild diamonds. Perfectly pure diamonds can be manufactured relatively cheaply. These are way better quality and way cheaper than you can find in the wild. Something the cartels don't want people to know about so they can set those artificial prices.

        • by Ocker3 (1232550)
          Mod Parent up! Debeers started the whole "you must have a Massive diamond ring if you want to marry her" thing in the 40s-50s with a Huge advertising campaign, while artificially constricting the supply. If you want Big industrial diamonds for cutting, you can have them made, you don't have to get them from Africa. Also, if you want a huge rock to impress your friends, you can get one made, for a fraction of the price.
    • Imagine what kind of Health insurance you would have to get for diamond treatment. You would have premiums of 10,000.00 a month.

      Eh, I don't think so. Industrial-grade diamonds and artificially-created diamonds are not insanely expensive. It's only once you start going with "natural" jewelry-grade diamonds with good clarity/cut/carat that prices start going insane.

      Artificially created diamonds are not fakes... they're still diamonds in every sense of the work (chemically and such).

      So if you produced these things artificially, and bumped up serious production to meet healthcare needs, the price might actually come down to sane level

    • by Ardaen (1099611)
      Considering that I have reasonably inexpensive cutting tools that are diamond tipped, I would have to guess that either synthetic diamond is relatively cheap and easy to make or that diamond is only prohibitively expensive and rare when in the form of large flawless stones.
    • by Minwee (522556)

      Of course when we all have to go to Government run health care like Canada, we will have to wait in line for 3months for wound treatment and instead of nano-diamonds, we will have to make do with cubic zirconium dust covered in aspirin.

      Somehow I doubt that the world's third largest producer of diamonds [www.cbc.ca] would have any trouble with that, even if it were a real issue.

    • by radtea (464814)

      Of course when we all have to go to Government run health care like Canada, we will have to wait in line for 3months for wound treatment and instead of nano-diamonds, we will have to make do with cubic zirconium dust covered in aspirin.

      Don't confuse "American Government Run Care" with "Canadian Government Run Care."

      Our system has its problems, but prompt treatment of acute issues isn't one of them. Like any system run by humans we sometimes drop the ball on critical issues, but it is by no means the system

  • a significant increase in the number of rappers with oral infections.

  • You can actually smear diamonds on your face! And it's only $400 a tub! That's, like, what, like, a million diamonds for $400? A million bleeping diamonds!

    Make you look nice, too: http://the-op.com/images/episode/202/tobias-glitter_sm.jpg [the-op.com]

    Appalogies to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrested_Development_(TV_series) [wikipedia.org]

    • You can actually smear diamonds on your face! And it's only $400 a tub! That's, like, what, like, a million diamonds for $400? A million bleeping diamonds!

      Make you look nice, too:

      I guess that's better than a pearl necklace....

  • Using a sufficiently large diamond, the emotional pain caused by one's infidelity discovered by one's wife can be cured. And, given the volatility of said wife, it can simultaneously work to prevent the physical pain of being hit with a lamp.
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Just ask Kobe Bryant. In fact, I believe the severity of infidelities can be directly measured by the cost of the bling required to shut the "injured party" up. Kobe committed a four million dollar fuckup... shouldn't Guiness give him at least an honorable mention?
    • by realsilly (186931)

      Being a female, I certainly would have to disagree with this. There is no diamond big enough in the world that would convince me to forgive a cheating husband. But a good Diamond Saw blade will take care of that situation real quick.

  • is the diamond antibiotic ointment.
  • Africa rejoice, a new cure for wounds have been found!
  • perhaps this explains the vampire skin in Twilight?

    diamonds in/on there skin stop them burning up in the sun.... ;)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by gt6062b (1548011)
      Almost - until you realize that the vampires in Twilight ARE diamonds. They're tough to break They sparkle They're cold And the emotionally unstable lead female in the "story" will do anything for them.
  • Just remembered me that: "Diamonds are forever!" and ever! Imagine in a nuclear holocaust: Diamonds will survive...
  • I'm sure I can throw a rock and hit at least a dozen women who will swear on a stack of bibles that diamonds are capable of healing any and all wounds!
  • Kind of reminds me of colloidal silver [wikipedia.org], a common antibacterial agent before antibiotics became common.

  • "A dressing of diamond" - it's a poem by a crazy French woman, who was jailed for anarchist agitation IIRC and wound up dying in jail. She had probably never thought of this; kind of sad.

  • ...if you have a Cleric with a 5th-level spell slot [d20srd.org] open.

  • when I first glanced at the title I read it as "Healing wounds with dynamite".

  • To the phrase: Blood Diamond Thank you, thank you... I'll be here all night
  • I cannot help wonder what happens if these diamond particles get into your blood flow though. Even though they are stated to be "nano-size", any chance they might get stuck in the nephrons in the kidneys, or capillary blood vessels around the body? I mean, usually the stuff you get into your blood stream are macro-mo
    • by Knutsi (959723)
      Sorry, the half sentence my previous post finished with came due me continuing to type after clicking the preview button. When the preview came, I took it for granted the change was lost and decided to just go with my original post. Apparently the field was just hidden...

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