Direct visualization of carbon nanotube degradation in primary cells by photothermal imaging

Julie Russier, Laura Oudjedi, Martin Piponnier, Cyrill Bussy, Maurizio Prato, Kostas Kostarelos, Brahim Lounis, Alberto Bianco, Laurent Cognet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Downloads (Pure)


Assessment of biodegradability of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is a critically important aspect that needs to be solved before their translation into new biomedical tools. CNT biodegradation has been shown both in vitro and in vivo, but we are limited by the number of analytical techniques that can be used to follow the entire process. Photothermal imaging (PhI) is an innovative technique that enables the quantitative detection of nanometer-sized absorptive objects. In this study, we demonstrate that PhI allows the observation of the degradation process of functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) following their internalization by primary glial cells. The absence of interference from the biological matrix components, together with the possibility to combine PhI with other detection techniques (e.g. fluorescence, light or electron microscopy) validate the potential of this method to follow the fate and behavior of carbon nanostructures in a biological environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number doi:10.1039/C6NR09795B
Pages (from-to)4642-4645
Number of pages4
Issue number14
Early online date13 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2017


  • carbon nanotubes
  • biodegradation
  • microglia
  • drug delivery systems
  • brain
  • photothermal imaging

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced materials
  • National Graphene Institute


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct visualization of carbon nanotube degradation in primary cells by photothermal imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this