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J Am Chem Soc. 2011 May 4;133(17):6825-31. doi: 10.1021/ja2010175. Epub 2011 Apr 8.

Ultrasmall reduced graphene oxide with high near-infrared absorbance for photothermal therapy.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


We developed nanosized, reduced graphene oxide (nano-rGO) sheets with high near-infrared (NIR) light absorbance and biocompatibility for potential photothermal therapy. The single-layered nano-rGO sheets were ∼20 nm in average lateral dimension, functionalized noncovalently by amphiphilic PEGylated polymer chains to render stability in biological solutions and exhibited 6-fold higher NIR absorption than nonreduced, covalently PEGylated nano-GO. Attaching a targeting peptide bearing the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif to nano-rGO afforded selective cellular uptake in U87MG cancer cells and highly effective photoablation of cells in vitro. In the absence of any NIR irradiation, nano-rGO exhibited little toxicity in vitro at concentrations well above the doses needed for photothermal heating. This work established nano-rGO as a novel photothermal agent due to its small size, high photothermal efficiency, and low cost as compared to other NIR photothermal agents including gold nanomaterials and carbon nanotubes.

© 2011 American Chemical Society

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