Facile synthesis of water-soluble and biocompatible fluorescent nitrogen-doped carbon dots for cell imaging
A simple, facile and green hydrothermal method was developed in the synthesis of water-soluble nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) from streptomycin. The as-prepared N-CDs displayed bright blue fluorescence under the irradiation of UV light, together with a high quantum yield of 7.6% and good biocompatibility as demonstrated by the cell viability assay. Thus, the N-CDs can be used as fluorescent probes for cell imaging, which have potential applications in bioimaging and related fields. This strategy opens a new way for the preparation of fluorescent carbon nanomaterials using small molecules as carbon sources.