Behavior of Supramolecular Assemblies of Radiometal-Filled and Fluorescent Carbon Nanocapsules In Vitro and In Vivo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Haobo Ge
  • Patrick J. Riss
  • Vincenzo Mirabello
  • David G. Calatayud
  • Stephen E. Flower
  • Rory L. Arrowsmith
  • Tim D. Fryer
  • Young Hong
  • Steve Sawiak
  • Robert M.J. Jacobs
  • Stanley W. Botchway
  • Rex M. Tyrrell
  • Tony D. James
  • Jonathan R. Dilworth
  • Franklin I. Aigbirhio
  • Sofia I. Pascu

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Bath
  • Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge
  • Department of Electroceramics, Instituto de Ceramica y Vidrio
  • University of Oxford
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory


Hybrid materials based on supramolecularly assembled single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are generated for positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging, and fluorescence imaging. The all-in-one imaging probe allows quantitative imaging from subcellular resolution to whole tissue regions. The SWNTs can be exposed to aqueous solutions of non-radioactive and radioactive metal salts in the presence of fullerenes and β-D-glucan. Encapsulating 64Cu ions achieves a minimum of 69% incorporation of radiochemical. The results suggest that this method can be extended to other metal ions of medical relevance, such as zirconium(IV)-89 or rhenium(VII)-188, which are used for medical imaging or radiotherapy, respectively. The in vivo uptake of 64Cu(II)@SWNT@β-D-glucan in Wistar rats allows the investigation of organ biodistribution by microPET. Radioactivity rapidly accumulates predominantly in the lungs and myocardium with peak uptakes of 4.8 ± 0.9 standardized uptake value. Furthermore, such materials are fully traceable in cells by multiphoton fluorescence lifetime imaging with near-infrared excitation (910 nm).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-460
Number of pages24
Issue number3
Early online date31 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2017


  • carbon nanotubes, copper-64, directed and self-assembly, fluorescence microscopy, nano-radiochemistry, nanohybrid materials, positron emission tomography, supramolecular chemistry