Fluorescent metal-doped carbon dots for neuronal manipulations

Vijay Bhooshan Kumar, Raj Kumar, Aharon Gedanken, Orit Shefi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


There is a growing need for biocompatible nanocomposites that may efficiently interact with biological tissues through multiple modalities. Carbon dots (CDs) could serve as biocompatible fluorescence nanomaterials for targeted tissue/cell imaging. Important goals toward this end are to enhance the fluorescence quantum yields of the CDs and to increase their targetability to cells. Here, sonochemistry was used to develop a one-pot synthesis of CDs, including metal-doped CDs (M@CDs), demonstrating how various experimental parameters, such as sonication time, temperature, and power of sonication affect the size of the CDs (2–10 nm) and their fluorescence properties. The highest measured quantum yield of emission was ∼16%. Similarly, we synthesized CDs doped with different metals (M@CDs) including Ga, Sn, Zn, Ag, and Au. The interaction of M@CDs with neuron-like cells was examined and showed efficient uptake and low cytotoxicity. Moreover, the influence of the M@CDs on the improvement of neurites during initiation and elongation growth phases were compared with pristine CDs. Our research demonstrates the use of M@CDs for imaging and for neuronal interactions. The M@CD nanocomposites are promising due to their biocompatibility, photo-stability and potential selective affinity, paving the way for multifunctional biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Biocompatibility
  • Fluorescence
  • Metal-doped carbon dots
  • Neural tissue engineering
  • Neurite outgrowth
  • Sonication


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