Artificial Allomelanin Nanoparticles

Xuhao Zhou, Naneki C. McCallum, Ziying Hu, Wei Cao, Karthikeyan Gnanasekaran, Yuanning Feng, J. Fraser Stoddart, Zhao Wang*, Nathan C. Gianneschi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Allomelanin is a type of nitrogen-free melanin most commonly found in fungi. Its existence enhances resistance of the organisms to environmental damage and helps fungi survive harsh radiation conditions such as those found on spacecraft and inside contaminated nuclear power plants. We report the preparation and characterization of artificial allomelanin nanoparticles (AMNPs) via oxidative oligomerization of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (1,8-DHN). We describe the resulting morphological and size control of AMNPs and demonstrate that they are radical scavengers. Finally, we show that AMNPs are taken up by neonatal human epidermal keratinocytes and packaged into perinuclear caps where they quench reactive oxygen species generated following UV exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10980-10990
Number of pages11
JournalACS nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 22 2019


  • DHN melanin
  • allomelanin
  • radiation protection
  • radical scavenging activity
  • synthetic melanin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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