The specific interaction between saccharide molecules and saccharide-binding proteins, lectins, can be exploited in order to actively target nanostructures to specific cell types for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. However, the conjugation of saccharides to nanostructures can be complex, leading to a lack of versatility in the functionalities that can be achieved, or poorly characterized and therefore potentially inconsistent.Herein is reported a new procedure by which novel saccharide-containing molecules, for the functionalization of nanostructures, could be synthesized rapidly and with good yields. The synthesis was found to be versatile, providing coating molecules for magnetite nanoparticles and phospholipid vesicles from a number of different hydrazides and reducing sugars.The stability of the synthesized coating molecules was assessed, both in aqueous solution and when bound to the surface of a magnetite nanoparticle, and found to be satisfactory for cell culture purposes. The availability of the saccharide units for lectin binding was confirmed using a Quartz crystal microbalance (QCM-D) in addition to a number of assays. Finally, microscopy techniques were used to study the interactions between saccharide-functionalized magnetite nanoparticles and two cell types, fibroblasts (3T3) and hepatocytes (HepG2).This work demonstrated the ability of saccharide coatings to improve the uptake of nanostructures in a cell culture environment and highlighted the potential cell manipulation application of saccharide-coated magnetite nanoparticles.