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Keywords:

  • bioimaging;
  • hydrothermal carbonization;
  • nanostructures;
  • nitrogen doping;
  • photoluminescence
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

From silk to spheres: A large-scale synthesis of water-soluble nitrogen-doped polymer-like carbonaceous nanospheres with a uniform size of ca. 70 nm, through a simple and green hydrothermal process employing cocoon silk in water, has been developed. The resultant nanospheres show excellent photoluminescent properties, exhibit low toxicity, and are biocompatible for in vivo imaging.