Carbon Nano-Onions as Non-Cytotoxic Carriers for Cellular Uptake of Glycopeptides and Proteins


Carbon nano-onions (CNOs) possess favorable properties that make them suitable for biomedical applications, including their small size, ready surface modification, and good biocompatibility. Here, we report the covalent immobilization of a synthetic glycopeptide and the protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) onto the surface of carbon nano-onions using the maleimide–thiol “addition reaction”. The glycopeptide and BSA are readily transported inside different cell lines, together with carbon nano-onions, through the endocytosis pathway. Our results show that carbon nano-onions are excellent scaffolds for glycopeptides and proteins immobilization and act as intracellular carriers for these biomolecules. These findings open new perspectives in the application of carbon nano-onions as intracellular transporters in diverse biomedical applications.

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Silvia Giordani
Silvia Giordani
Full Professor Chair of Nanomaterials, Head of School of Chemical Sciences

My research interests are in the design, synthesis, and characterization of hybrid smart nanomaterials for biomedical, energy and environmental applications