Carbon Nano-Onions as Fluorescent on/off Modulated Nanoprobes for Diagnostics


Multishell fullerenes, known as carbon nano-onions (CNOs), have emerged as a platform for bioimaging because of their cell-penetration properties and minimal systemic toxicity. Here, we describe the covalent functionalization of CNOs with a π-extended distyryl-substituted boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY) dye with on/off modulated fluorescence emission activated by an acidic environment. The switching properties are linked to the photoinduced electron transfer (PET) characteristics of the dimethylamino functionalities attached to the BODIPY core. The on/off emission of the fluorescent CNOs is fast and reversible both in solution and in vitro, making this nanomaterial suitable as pH-dependent probes for diagnostic applications.

Publication Type
Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
Adalberto Camisasca
Adalberto Camisasca
Postdoctorate Fellow

Alumni from the Giordani Group

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