Highly luminescent, water-soluble and biocompatible Carbon Quantum Dots (aqCQDs) were prepared by encapsulating the parent hydrophobic CQDs in an amphiphilic polymer. The resulting aqCQDs were non-toxic to living cells, and were found to cross the cell membrane and localise primarily in the cytosol.
Fowley, C., McCaughan, B., Devlin, A., Yildiz, I., Raymo, F. M., & Callan, J. F. (2012). Highly luminescent biocompatible carbon quantum dots by encapsulation with an amphiphilic polymer. Chemical Communications, 48(75), 9361-9363. https://doi.org/10.1039/c2cc34962k