Quantification of carbon nanomaterials in vivo: Direct stable isotope labeling on the skeleton of fullerene C60

Xue Ling Chang, Longfei Ruan, Sheng Tao Yang, Baoyun Sun, Cuibin Guo, Liangjun Zhou, Jinquan Dong, Hui Yuan, Gengmei Xing, Yuliang Zhao, Min Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Concerns over the biosafety of carbon nanomaterials have been raised, due to their unique structure, properties and applications. However, a lack of easily accessible quantification methods for in vivo carbon nanomaterials largely limits the evaluation of their biosafety. Here, for the first time we adopted 13C stable isotopic labeling for the quantification of a fullerene in vivo. 13C-enriched fullerene C60 was synthesized by arc discharge and purified by high performance liquid chromatography. The 13C-enriched C60 was dispersed in tween 80 aqueous solution for animal administration and was then monitored and quantified by isotope ratio mass spectrometry after intravenous injection (i.v.). Our results showed that C60 quickly cleared from the blood circulation with a half-life of 14 min, and selective accumulation in the liver, spleen and lungs was observed, with slight decreases seen within 24 h. The pharmacokinetics of C60 could be evaluated using the two-compartmental model, in which the fast clearance after i.v. from the blood circulation and slow clearance by the uptake in tissues were revealed. The present findings demonstrated the feasibility of using 13C stable isotopically labeled carbon nanomaterials such as fullerene to trace and quantitatively monitor their bio-behavior in vivo, and suggested that 13C-enriched carbon nanomaterials might bring about a new platform to study the environmental fate of carbon nanomaterials. This journal is

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science: Nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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