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Lon J. Wilson

Professor of Chemistry

Professor Wilson's research program involves bringing carbon nanotechnology to the fields of biology and medicine. The nanoparticle "building blocks" of this program are fullerenes (C60), endohedral metallofullerenes (M@C60), and ultra-short (20 nm long) single-walled carbon nanotube capsules (US-tubes). Externally, these carbon nanostructures are being chemically derivatized to make them biocompatible and cell-specific through peptide and antibody targeting. Internally, the nanostructures are being loaded with materials of medical interest for diagnostic and therapeutic medicine. Materials of interest include Fe2O3 and Gd3+ ions for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), I2 molecules for X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging and alpha-particle radionuclides (Ac3+-225 and At-211) for alpha-radioimmunotherapy of single-cell cancers. Cancer therapies are also being developed that take advantage of superparamagnetic nanostructures, such as Gd3+@US-tubes, that are simultaneously diagnostic (MRI-guided) and therapeutic (magnetic hyperthermia) agents in a single package. All these carbon nanostructures, with their medical cargos, are designed to be among the first intracellular agents, since the future of medicine will involve the early detection of disease at the cellular level when it is most treatable. Nanoengineered materials promise great advances in medicine, and, working with colleagues at various medical centers, our goal is to bring key, high-performance materials to the clinic as soon as possible.


S. J. Corr, S. Shamsudeen, L. A. Vergara, J. C.-S. Ho, M. J. Ware, V. Keshishian, K. Yokoi, D .J. Savage,I. M. Meraz, W. Kaluarachchi, B. T. Cisneros, M. Raoof, D. T. Nguyen, Y. Zhang, L. J. Wilson, H. Summers, P. Rees, S. A. Curley, R. E. Serda, "A New Imaging Platform for Visualizing Biological Effects of Non-Invasive Radiofrequency Electric-Field Cancer Hyperthermia." PLoS One,  10, e013682 (2015) 10.1371/journal.pone.0136382).

J. Kolosnjaj-Tabi, J. Just, K.B. Hartman, Y. Laoudi, S. Boudjemaa, D. Alloyeau, H. Szwarc, L. J. Wilson, F. Moussa, "Anthropogenic Carbon Nanotubes Found in the Airways of Parisian Children," EBioMedicine (2015), doi: 10.1016/jebiom.2015.10.012

M. L. Matson, C. H. Villa, J. S. Ananta, J. J. Law, D. A. Scheinberg, L. J. Wilson, "Encapsulation of Alpha-particle Emitting Actinium - 225 Ions within Carbon Nanotubes." Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 9, 409-412 (2015).

Ayrat Gizzatov, Cinzia Stigliano, J.S. Ananta, Richa Sethi, Rong Xu, Adem Guven, Maricela Ramirez, Haifa Shen, Anil Sood, Mauro Ferrari, Lon J. Wilson, Xuewu Liu and Paolo Decuzzi. "Geometrical confinement of Gd(DOTA) molecules within mesoporous silicon nanoconstructs for MR imaging of cancer." Cancer Letters 352 (2014): 97-101. 

Stuart J. Corr, Mustafa Raoof, Cihiu Zhu, Sophia Phounsavath, Brandon T. Cisneros, Warna D. Kaluarachchi, Lon J. Wilson, and Steven A. Curley. "Gold nanoparticles and Radiofrequency in Experimental Models for Hepatoceullar Carcinoma." Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine 10 (6), 1121-1130 (2014). 

Mustafa Raoof, Cihui Zhu, Brandon T. Cisneros, Heping Liu, Stuart J. Corr, Lon J. Wilson and Steven A. Curley. "Hyperthermia Inhibits Recombination Repair of Gemcitabine-stalled Replication Forks." Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Aug 15;106(8) (2014). 

S. Corr, M. Raoof, B. Cisneros, A. Orbaek, M. Cheney, J. Law, N. Lara, A. Barron, L. Wilson, S. Curley, "Radiofrequency Electric-field Heating Behaviors of Highly Enriched Semiconducting and Metallic Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes." Nano Res., 8, 2859-2870 (2015).

B. D. Holt, J. J. Law, L. J. Wilson, K. N. Dahl, M. F. Islam, "Sub-cellular Partitioning and Analysis of Gd3+-loaded Ultra-short Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes." ACS Applied Material Interfaces, 7 (27), 14593-14602 (2015).

A. Gizzatov, M. Hernandez-Rivera, V. Keshishian, Y. Mackeyev, J. J. Law, R. Sethi, F. Qu, R. Muthupillai, M. Cabreira-Hansen, J. T. Willerson, E. C. Perin, Q. Ma, R. G. Bryant, L. J. Wilson, "Surfactant-Free Gd3+-ion-containing Carbon Nanotube MRI Contrast Agents for Stem Cell Labeling." Nanoscale, 7, 12085-1209L (2015).

Norman A. Lapin, Leoncio A. Vergara, Yuri Mackeyev, Jared M. Newton, Sean A. Dilliard, Lon J. Wilson, Steven A. Curley, Rita E. Serda. Biotransport kinetics and intratumoral biodistribution of malonodiserinolamide-derivatized [60]fullerene in a murine model of breast adenocarcinoma.  International Journal of Nanomedicine, 12 2017: 8289-8307

Adem Guven, Gabriel J. Villares, Susan G. Hilsenbeck, Alaina Lewis, John D. Landua, Lacey E. Dobrolecki, Lon J. Wilson, Michael T. Lewis. Carbon nanotube capsules enhance the in vivo efficacy of cisplatin.  Acta Biomaterialia, 58 2017: 466-478

Mayra Hernandez-Rivera, Ish Kumar, Stephen Y. Cho, Benjamin Y. Cheong, Merlyn X. Pulikkathara, Sakineh E. Moghaddam, Kenton H. Whitmire, and Lon J. Wilson. High-Performance Hybrid Bismuth-Carbon Nanotube Based Contrast Agent for X-ray CT Imaging.  ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 9 2017: 5709-5716

N.A. Lapin, M. Krzykawska-Serda, S. Dillard, Y. Mackeyev, M. Serda, L.J. Wilson, S.A. Curley, S.J. Corr. The Effects of Non-invasive Radiofrequency Electric Field Hyperthermia on Biotransport of Fluorescence [60]Fullerene Derivative in a Murine Orthotopic Model of Breast Adenocarcinoma.  Journal of Controlled Release, 260 2017: 92-99

Sakineh E. Moghaddam, Richa Sethi, Farzanch Shayeganfar, Robert G. Bryant, and Lon J. Wilson. The Gadonanotubes as High-Performance MRI Contrast Agents: The Unappreciated Role of the Carbon Nanotube Component at Low Magnetic Fields.  ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology, 6(6) 2017: M3173-M3180

Nadia C. Lara, Asad A. Halder, Lon J. Wilson, Steven A. Curley, and Stuart J. Corr. Unique heating curves generated by radiofrequency electric-field interactions with semi-aqueous solutions.  Appl. Phys. Lett., 110(1) 2017: 013701

Nadia C. Lara, Asad A. Haider, Jason C. Ho, Lon J. Wilson, Andrew R. Barron, Steven A. Curley and Stuart J. Corr. Water-structuring molecules and nanomaterials enhance radiofrequency heating in biologically relevant solutions.  Chem. Commun., 52 2016: 12630-12633

Ayrat Gizzataov, Jaehong Key, Santosh Aryal, Jeyarama Ananta, Antonio Cervadoro, Anna Lisa Palange, Matteo Fasano, Cinzia Stigliano, Meng Zhong, Daniele Di Mascalo, Adem Guven, Eliodoro Chiavazzo, Pietro Asinari, Xuewu Liu, Mauro Ferraro, Lon J. Wilson and Paolo Decuzzi Hierarchically structured magnetic nanoconstructs with enhanced relaxivity and cooperative tumor accumulation.  Advanced Functional Materials, 24 2014: 4584-4594

Lesa Tran, Mayra Hernandez-Rivera, Ari N. Berlin, Yi Zheng, Luiz Sampaio, Christina Bove, Maria de Graca Cabreira-Hansen, James T. Willerson, Emerson C. Perin, Lon J. Wilson The use of gadolinium-carbon nanostructures to magnetically enhance stem cell retention for cellular cardiomyoplasty.  Biomaterials, 35 2014: 720-726

Y. Choi, Y. Ye, Y. Mackeyev, M. Cho, L. J. Wilson, J. Lee, W. Choi, J. Lee C60 aminofullerene-magnetite nanocomposite designed for efficient visible light photocatalysis and magnetic recovery.  Carbon 2013

S. J. Corr, M. Raoof, B. T. Cisneros, O. Kuznetsov, K. Massey, W. D. Kaluarachchi, M. A. Cheney, W. E. Billups, L. J. Wilson, S. A. Curley Cytotoxiciy and variant cellular internalization behavior of water-soluble sulfonated nanographene sheets in liver cancer cells.  Nanoscale Res. Lett., 8 2013: 1-10

F. Huang, Y. Mackeyev, E. Watson, M. A. Cheney, L. J. Wilson and J. Suh Evidence for nuclear internalisation of biocompatible [60]fullerene.  Eur. J. Nanomed., 5 2013: 51-55

M. Raoof, B. T. Cisneros, A. Guven, S. Phounsavath, S. J. Corr, L. J. Wilson, S. A. Curley Remotely triggered cisplatin release from carbon nanocapsules by radiofrequency fields.  Biomaterials, 34 2013: 1862-1869

A. M. Dimiev, A. Gizzatov, L. J. Wilson and J. M. Tour Stable aqueous colloidal solutions of intact surfactant-free graphene nanoribbons and related graphitic nanostructures.  Chem. Commun., 49 2013: 2613-2615

Q. Ma, M. Jebb, M. F. Tweedle and L. J. Wilson The Gadonanotubes: Structural Origin of Their High-Performance MRI Contrast Agent Behavior.  J. Mater. Chem. B, 1 2013: 5791-5797

A. Guven, I. A. Rusakova, M. T. Lewis, L. J. Wilson Cisplatin@US-tube carbon nanocapsules for enhanced chemotherapeutic delivery.  Biomaterials, 33 2012: 1455-1461

S. J. Corr, M. Raoof, Y. Mackeyev, S. Phounsavath, M. A. Cheney, B. T. Cisneros, M. Shur, P. J. McNally, L. J. Wilson, and S. A. Curley Citrate-Capped Gold Nanoparticle Electrophoretic Heat Production in Response to a Time-Varying Radio-Frequency Electric Field.  J. Phys. Chem. C, 116 2012: 24380-24389

R. Sethi, J. S. Ananta, C. Karmonik, M. Zhong, S. H. Fung, X. Liu, K. Li, M. Ferrari, L. J. Wilson, and P. Decuzzi Enhanced relaxivity of Gd3+-based contrast agents geometrically confined within porous nanoconstructs.  Contrast Media Mol. Imaging, 7 2012: 501-508

A. Gizzatov, A. Dimiev, Y. Mackeyev, J. M. Tour and L. J. Wilson Highly water soluble multi-layer graphene nanoribbons and related honey-comb carbon nanostructures.  Chem. Commun., 48 2012: 5602-5604

M. Raoof, Y. Mackeyev, M. A. Cheney, L. J. Wilson, S. A. Curley Internalization of C60 fullerenes into cancer cells with accumulation in the nucleus via the nuclear pore complex.  Biomaterials, 33 2012: 2952-2960

E. J. Rivera, R. Sethi, F. Qu, R. Krishnamurthy, R. Muthupillai, M. Alford, M. A. Swanson, S. S. Eaton, G. R. Eaton, and L. J. Wilson Nitroxide Radicals@US-Tubes: New Spin Labels for Biomedical Applications.  Adv. Funct. Mater., 22 2012: 3691-3698

H. Kim, W. Kim, Y. Mackeyev, G.-S. Lee, H.-J. Kim, T. Tachikawa, S. Hong, S. Lee, J. Kim, L. . Wilson, T. Majima, P. Alvarez, W. Choi, J. Lee Selective Oxidative Degradation of Organic Pollutants by Singlet Oxygen-Mediated Photosensitization: Tin Porphyrin versus C60 Aminofullerene Systems.  Environ. Sci. Technol., 46 2012: 9606-9613

M. Raoof, S. J. Corr, W. D. Kaluarachchi, K. L. Massey, K. Briggs, C. Zhu, M. A. Cheney, L. J. Wilson, S. A. Curley Stability of directionally conjugated gold nanoparticles in endolysosomal microenvironment: Implications in non-invasive radiofrequency base cancer therapy.  Nanomed. Nanotechnol. Biol. Med, 8 2012: 1096-1105

R. Sethi, Y. Mackeyev, and L. J. Wilson The Gadonanotubes Revisited: A New Frontier in MRI Contrast Agent Design.  Inorg. Chim. Acta, 393 2012: 165-172

M. van der Zande, B. Sitharaman, X. F. Walboomers, L. Tran, J. S. Ananta, A. Veltien, L. J. Wilson, J. I. Alava, A. Heerschap, A. G. Mikos, and J. A. Jansen In Vivo Resonance Imaging of the Distribution Pattern of Gadonanotubes Released from a Degrading Poly(Lactic-Co-Glycolic Acid) Scaffold.  Tissue Eng., 17 2011: 19-26

C. S. Berger, J. W. Marks, R. D. Bolskar, M. G. Rosenblum and L. J. Wilson Cell Internalization Studies of Gadofullerene–(ZME-018) Immunoconjugates into A375m Melanoma Cells.  Translational Oncology, 4 2011: 350-354

A. Grattoni, D. Fine, E. Zabre, A. Ziemys, J. Gill, Y. Mackeyev, M. A. Cheney, D. C. Danila, S. Hosali, L. J. Wilson, F. Hussain and M. Ferrari Gated and Near-Surface Diffusion of Charged Fullerenes in Nanochannels.  ACS Nano, 5 2011: 9382-9391

L. A. Tran, L. J. Wilson Nanomedicine: making controllable magnetic drug delivery possible for the treatment of breast cancer.  Breast Cancer Research, 13 2011: 303-304

J. Lee, S. Hong, Y. Mackeyev, C. Lee, E. Chung, L. J. Wilson, J.-H. Kim and P. J. J. Alvarez Photosensitized Oxidation of Emerging Organic Pollutants by Tetrakis C(60) Aminofullerene-Derivatized Silica under Visible Light Irradiation.  Environ. Sci. Technol., 45 2011: 10598-10604

J. Kolosnjaj-Tabi, K. B. Hartman, S. Boudjemaa, J. S. Ananta, G. Morgant, H. Szwarc, L. J. Wilson, F. Moussa In Vivo Behavior of Large Doses of Ultra-Short and Full-Length Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes after Oral and Intraperitoneal Administration to Swiss Mice.  ACS Nano, 4 2010: 1481-1492

L. A. Tran, R. Krishnamurthy, R. Muthupillai, M. G. Cabreira-Hansen, J. T. Willerson, E. C. Perin, L. J. Wilson Gadonanotubes as Magnetic Nanolabels for Stem Cell Detection.  Biomaterials, 31 2010: 9482-9491

J. S. Ananta, B. Godin, R. Sethi, L. Moriggi, X. Liu, R. E. Serda, R. Kishnamurthy, R. Muthupillai, R. D. Bolskar, L. Helm, M. Ferrari, L. J. Wilson, P. Decuzzi Geometrical Confinement of Gadonanotube Based Contrast Agents in Nanoporous Particles Enhances T1 Contrast.  Nat. Nanotechnol., 5 2010: 815-821

B. Sitharaman, M. van der Zande, J. S. Ananta, X. Shi, A. Veltien, X. F. Walboomers, L. J. Wilson, A. G. Mikos, A. Heerschap, J. A. Jansen Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies on Gadonanotube Reinforced Polymer Nanocomposites.  J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 93A 2010: 1454-1462

M. Matson and L. J. Wilson Nanotechnology and MRI contrast enhancement.  Future Med. Chem., 2 2010: 491-502

A. A. Hassan, B. Chan, K. B. Hartman, J. S. Ananta, Y. Mackeyev, L. Hu, R. G. Pautler, L. J. Wilson and A. V. Lee Serine-Derivatized Gadonanotubes as Magnetic Nanoprobes for Intracellular Labeling.  Contrast Media Mol. Imaging, 5 2010: 34-38

M. Cho, J. Lee, Y. Mackeyev, L. J. Wilson, P. J. J. Alvarez, J. B. Hughes and J.-H. Kim Visible Light Sensitized Inactivation of MS-2 Bacteriophage by a Cationic Amine-Functionalized C60 Derivative.  Environ. Sci. Technol., 44 2010: 6685-6691

Y. Mackeyev, K. B. Hartman, J. S. Ananta, A. V. Lee, L. J. Wilson Catalytic Synthesis of Amino Acid- and Peptide-Derivatized Gadonanotubes.  J. Am. Chem. Soc., 131 2009: 8342-8343

J. Lee, Y. Mackeyev, M. Cho, D. Li, J.-H. Kim, L. J. Wilson, and P. J. J. Alvarez Photochemical and Antimicrobial Properties of Novel C60 Deriatives in Aqueous Systems.  Environ. Sci. Technol., 43 2009: 6604-6610

J. Ananta, M. Matson, A. Tang, T. Mandal, S. Lin, K. Wong, S. Wong, L. J. Wilson Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Materials as T2-weighted MRI Contrast Agents.  J. Phys. Chem. C, 113 2009: 19369-19372

B. Sitharaman, X. Shi, F. Walboomers, H., Liao, V. Cuijpers, L. J. Wilson, A. G. Mikos, and J. A. Jansen In Vivo Biocompatibility of Ultra-Short Single Walled Carbon Nanotube/Biodegradable Polymer Nanocomposites for Bone Tissue Engineering.  Bone, 43 2008: 362-370

X. Shi, B. Sitharaman, Q. P. Pham, P. P. Spicer, J. L. Hudson, L. J. Wilson, J. M. Tour, R. M. Raphael, A. G. Mikos In vitro cytotoxicity of single-walled carbon nanotube/biodegradable polymer nanocomposites.  J. Biomed. Mater. Res. Part A, 86A 2008: 813-823

K. B. Hartman, L. J. Wilson, M. G. Rosenblum Detecting and Treating Cancer with Nanotechnology.  Mol. Diag. Ther., 12 2008: 1-14

K. B. Hartman, S. Laus, R. D. Bolskar, R. Muthupillai, L. Helm, E. Toth, A. E. Merbach, and L. J. Wilson Gadonanotubes as Ultrasensitive pH-Smart Probes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.  Nano Lett., 8 2008: 415-419

B. Sitharaman, T. Zakharian, A. Saraf, P. Misra, J. Ashcroft, S. Pan, Q. P. Pham, A. G. Mikos, L. J. Wilson and D. A. Engler Water-Soluble Fullerene (C60) Derivatives as Non-Viral Gene-Delivery Vectors.  Molecular Pharmaceutics, 5 2008: 567-578

K. B. Hartman, D. K. Hamlin, D. S. Wilbur, L. J. Wilson 211AtCl@US-tube Nanocapsules: A New Concept in Radiotherapeutic Agent Design.  Small, 3 2007: 1496-1499

B. Sitharaman, L. A. Tran, Q. P. Pham. R. D. Bolskar, R. Muthupillai, S. D. Flamm, A. G. Mikos, L. J. Wilson Gadofullerenes as Nanoscale Magnetic Labels for Cellular MRI.  Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, 2 2007: 139-146

J. M. Ashcroft, K. B. Hartman, K. R. Kissell, Y. Mackeyev, S. Pheasant, S. Young, P. A. van der Heide, A. G. Mikos and L. J. Wilson Single-molecule I2@US-tube Nanocapsules: A New X-ray Contrast Agent Design.  Adv. Mater., 19 2007: 573-576

Y. Mackeyev, S. Bachilo, K. B. Hartman and L. J. Wilson The Purification of HiPCo SWCNTs with Liquid Bromine at Room Temperature.  Carbon, 45 2007: 1013-1017

E. Toth, R. D. Bolskar, L. Helm, L. J. Wilson and A. E. Merbach Understanding Paramagnetic Relaxation Phenomenon for Water-soluble Gadofullerenes.  J. Phys. Chem. C, 111 2007: 5633-5639

Wilson Research Group Website

  • B.S. (1966) Iowa State University
  • Ph.D. (1971) University of Washington
  • Laboratory for Biochemical and Genetic Engineering
  • Smalley-Curl Institute
  • Fullerene, Metallofullerene and Carbon Nanotube Nanotechnology for Medical Applications, Metal Ions in Medicine and Biology, Coordination Chemistry, Radiochemistry of the Lanthanides and Actinides.
Email: durango@rice.edu
Phone: (713) 348-3268
Office: Dell Butcher Hall, 353