Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Quantum Sensing Technologies in Biomedical Applications

Application Due Date
Brief Description

The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to announce that the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Eye Institute (NEI), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and National Cancer Institute (NCI) are soliciting applications proposing to advance research on quantum sensing directed toward biomedical applications.


Quantum sensing harnesses the power of quantum physics and mechanics for measuring quantum states at the sub-atomic level to improve sensing performance. The atomic length scale of Quantum sensors and their coherence properties, which enable unprecedented spatial resolution and sensitivity, are gaining importance toward near-term and real-world applications in biomedical research. Quantum sensors can detect and measure the smallest changes in various electromagnetic fields and physical quantities such as pH, temperature, speed, position, pressure, force, vibration, and fluid property using many-fold lower power and decreased size than their classical counterparts. Therefore, quantum sensors can provide more granular data collection and given their compact size and non-cryogenic nature, they have the potential to improve health accessibility and equity by allowing biomedical technologies such as diagnostic devices to be used in broader population. Many of the emerging quantum sensing technologies have yet to be explored in biomedical use cases. Through further technology development and optimization, these novel sensing technologies could drastically enhance current biological imaging and sensing measurements, which provide unique opportunities and capacities to advance biomedical research and clinical translation. For more information on NIH’s Quantum Information Science Initiative, please refer to

Research Objectives

The goal of this NOSI is to support innovative and potentially transformative research projects in quantum science and sensing toward biomedical disciplines. This includes approaches to improve current biomedical imaging and bioengineering tools and technologies using quantum sensing for drug delivery, novel therapeutics, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of various diseases.

This NOSI further aims to catalyze application of innovative quantum-enabled technologies that leverage quantum sensing properties (coherence, interference, superposition and entanglement) of various materials (e.g., color centers, solid-state defects, 2D quantum materials), superconducting circuits, atomic magnetometry, integrated photonics, non-classical sources of light, quantum optical effects, hyperpolarized spin states, entangled photons, tunneling, quantum correlation, or other quantum phenomena.

The proposed project must be related to the programmatic interests of one or more of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) based on their scientific missions.