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Acta Biomater. 2013 Dec;9(12):9243-57. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.08.016. Epub 2013 Aug 16.

Graphene and graphene oxide as new nanocarriers for drug delivery applications.

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College of Chemistry, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Laboratory of Fiber Materials and Modern Textile, The Growing Base for State Key Laboratory, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China. Electronic address:


The biomedical applications of graphene-based materials, including drug delivery, have grown rapidly in the past few years. Graphene and graphene oxide have been extensively explored as some of the most promising biomaterials for biomedical applications due to their unique properties: two-dimensional planar structure, large surface area, chemical and mechanical stability, superb conductivity and good biocompatibility. These properties result in promising applications for the design of advanced drug delivery systems and delivery of a broad range of therapeutics. In this review we present an overview of recent advances in this field of research. We briefly describe current methods for the surface modification of graphene-based nanocarriers, their biocompatibility and toxicity, followed by a summary of the most appealing examples demonstrated for the delivery of anti-cancer drugs and genes. Additionally, new drug delivery concepts based on controlling mechanisms, including targeting and stimulation with pH, chemical interactions, thermal, photo- and magnetic induction, are discussed. Finally the review is summarized, with a brief conclusion of future prospects and challenges in this field.


Drug delivery; Graphene; Graphene oxide; Nano-carriers; Targeted drug delivery

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