Understanding the effect of graphene on cellular behavior is important for enabling a range of new biological and biomedical applications. However, due to the complexity of cell responses and graphene surface states, regulating cellular behaviors on graphene or its derivatives is still a great challenge. To address this challenge we have developed a novel, facile route to regulate the cellular behaviors on few-layer reduced graphene oxide (FRGO) films by controlling the reduction states of graphene oxide. Our results indicate that the surface oxygen content of FRGO has a strong influence on cellular behavior, with the best performance for cell attachment, proliferation and phenotype being obtained in moderately reduced FRGO. Cell performance decreased significantly as the FRGO was highly reduced. Moderate performance was found in non-reduced pure graphene oxide and control glass slides. Our results highlight the important role of surface physicochemical characteristics of graphene and its derivatives in their interactions with biocomponents, and may have great potential in enabling the utility of graphene based materials in various biomedical and bioelectronic applications.
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