Nano Research

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 312–325 | Cite as

A green synthesis of carbon nanoparticles from honey and their use in real-time photoacoustic imaging

  • Lina Wu
  • Xin Cai
  • Kate Nelson
  • Wenxin Xing
  • Jun Xia
  • Ruiying Zhang
  • Allen J. Stacy
  • Micah Luderer
  • Gregory M. Lanza
  • Lihong V. Wang
  • Baozhong Shen
  • Dipanjan Pan
Research Article


Imaging sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) could provide us with critical information about the progression of a cancerous disease. Real-time high-resolution intraoperative photoacoustic imaging (PAI) in conjunction with a near-infrared (NIR) probe may offer opportunities for the immediate imaging for direct identification and resection of SLN or collecting tissue samples. In this work a commercially amenable synthetic methodology is revealed for fabricating luminescent carbon nanoparticles with rapid clearance properties. A one-pot “green” technique is pursued, which involved rapid surface passivation of carbon nanoparticles with organic macromolecules (e.g., polysorbate, polyethyleneglycol) in solvent-free conditions. Interestingly, the naked carbon nanoparticles are derived for the first time, from commercial food grade honey. Surface coated particles are markedly smaller (∼7 nm) than previously explored particles (gold, single-walled carbon nanotubes, copper) for SLN imaging. The results indicate an exceptionally rapid signal enhancement (∼2 min) of the SLN. Owing to their strong optical absorption in the NIR region, tiny size and rapid lymphatic transport, this platform offers great potential for faster resection of SLN and may lower complications caused in axillary investigation by mismarking with dyes or low-resolution imaging techniques.


carbon nanoparticle honey contrast agents photoacoustic tomography real-time imaging 


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lina Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xin Cai
    • 3
  • Kate Nelson
    • 4
  • Wenxin Xing
    • 3
  • Jun Xia
    • 3
  • Ruiying Zhang
    • 3
  • Allen J. Stacy
    • 1
  • Micah Luderer
    • 1
  • Gregory M. Lanza
    • 1
  • Lihong V. Wang
    • 3
  • Baozhong Shen
    • 2
  • Dipanjan Pan
    • 1
  1. 1.C-TRAIN and Division of CardiologyWashington University School of MedicineSaint LouisUSA
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Molecular Imaging in College of Heilongjiang Province, Department of Radiologythe 4th Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  3. 3.Optical Imaging Laboratory, Department of Biomedical EngineeringWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  4. 4.Nano Research Facility (NNIN-NSF)Washington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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