Subcellular Targeted Nanohoop for One- And Two-Photon Live Cell Imaging

Terri C. Lovell, Sarah G. Bolton, John P. Kenison, Julia Shangguan, Claire E. Otteson, Fehmi Civitci, Xiaolin Nan, Michael D. Pluth, Ramesh Jasti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Fluorophores are powerful tools for interrogating biological systems. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have long been attractive materials for biological imaging due to their near-infrared excitation and bright, tunable optical properties. The difficulty in synthesizing and functionalizing these materials with precision, however, has hampered progress in this area. Carbon nanohoops, which are macrocyclic CNT substructures, are carbon nanostructures that possess ideal photophysical characteristics of nanomaterials, while maintaining the precise synthesis of small molecules. However, much work remains to advance the nanohoop class of fluorophores as biological imaging agents. Herein, we report an intracellular targeted nanohoop. This fluorescent nanostructure is noncytotoxic at concentrations up to 50 μM, and cellular uptake investigations indicate internalization through endocytic pathways. Additionally, we employ this nanohoop for two-photon fluorescence imaging, demonstrating a high two-photon absorption cross-section (65 GM) and photostability comparable to a commercial probe. This work further motivates continued investigations into carbon nanohoop photophysics and their biological imaging applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Nano
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • aromatic molecules
  • cell imaging
  • cycloparaphenylene
  • fluorophore
  • nanohoop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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