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Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2014 Oct 1;122:638-644. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2014.07.043. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

Multifunctional graphene quantum dots for simultaneous targeted cellular imaging and drug delivery.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing and Center for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, China University of Petroleum (East China), 66 Changjiang West Road, Qingdao Economic Development Zone, Qingdao 266555, China. Electronic address: xwang@upc.edu.cn.
2
State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing and Center for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, China University of Petroleum (East China), 66 Changjiang West Road, Qingdao Economic Development Zone, Qingdao 266555, China.
3
State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing and Center for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, China University of Petroleum (East China), 66 Changjiang West Road, Qingdao Economic Development Zone, Qingdao 266555, China. Electronic address: fhuang@upc.edu.cn.

Abstract

This study demonstrates that ligand-modified graphene quantum dots (GQDs) facilitate the simultaneous operation of multiple tasks without the need for external dyes. These tasks include selective cell labeling, targeted drug delivery, and real-time monitoring of cellular uptake. Folic acid (FA)-conjugated GQDs are synthesized and utilized to load the antitumor drug doxorubicin (DOX). The fabricated nanoassembly can unambiguously discriminate cancer cells from normal cells and efficiently deliver the drug to targeted cells. The inherent stable fluorescence of GQDs enables real-time monitoring of the cellular uptake of the DOX-GQD-FA nanoassembly and the consequent release of drugs. The nanoassembly is specifically internalized rapidly by HeLa cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis, whereas DOX release and accumulation are prolonged. In vitro toxicity data suggest that the DOX-GQD-FA nanoassembly can target HeLa cells differentially and efficiently while exhibiting significantly reduced cytotoxicity to non-target cells.

KEYWORDS:

Confocal microscopy; Drug delivery; Fluorescence; Graphene quantum dots; Selective cytotoxicity

PMID:
25129696
DOI:
10.1016/j.colsurfb.2014.07.043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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