On the basis of the continuum approximation along with Lennard–Jones potential function, new semi-analytical expressions are presented to evaluate the van der Waals interactions between an ellipsoidal fullerene and a semi-infinite single-walled carbon nanotube. Using direct method, these expressions are also extended to model ellipsoidal carbon onions inside multiwalled carbon nanotubes. In addition, acceptance and suction energies which are two noticeable issues for medical applications such as drug delivery are determined. Neglecting the frictional effects and by imposing some simplifying assumptions on the van der Waals interaction force, a simple formula is given to evaluate the oscillation frequency of ellipsoidal carbon onions inside multiwalled carbon nanotubes. Also, the effects of the number of tube shells and ellipsoidal carbon onion shells on the oscillatory behavior are examined. It is shown that there exists an optimal value for the number of tube shells beyond which the oscillation frequency remains unchanged.