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Role of surface charge and oxidative stress in cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of graphene oxide towards human lung fibroblast cells

Authors

  • Anxin Wang,

    1. Suzhou Key Laboratory of Nanobiomedicine, Division of Nanobiomedicine, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
    2. National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China
    3. University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Kefeng Pu,

    1. Suzhou Key Laboratory of Nanobiomedicine, Division of Nanobiomedicine, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
    2. National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China
    3. University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Bing Dong,

    1. Suzhou Key Laboratory of Nanobiomedicine, Division of Nanobiomedicine, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
    2. National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China
    3. University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Yang Liu,

    1. Suzhou Key Laboratory of Nanobiomedicine, Division of Nanobiomedicine, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
    2. National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China
    3. University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Liming Zhang,

    1. Suzhou Key Laboratory of Nanobiomedicine, Division of Nanobiomedicine, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
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  • Zhijun Zhang,

    1. Suzhou Key Laboratory of Nanobiomedicine, Division of Nanobiomedicine, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
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  • Wei Duan,

    1. School of Medicine, Deakin University, VIC, Australia
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  • Yimin Zhu

    Corresponding author
    • Suzhou Key Laboratory of Nanobiomedicine, Division of Nanobiomedicine, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
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Correspondence to: Yimin Zhu, 398 Ruoshui Road, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215123, China. E-mail: ymzhu2008@sinano.ac.cn

ABSTRACT

Recently, attempts have been made to apply graphene oxide (GO) in the field of biology and medicine, such as DNA sensing and drug delivery with some necessary modifications. Therefore, the toxicity of GO must be evaluated before it is applied further in biomedicine. In this paper, the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of GO to human lung fibroblast (HLF) cells have been assessed with methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT), sub-G1 measurement and comet assays, and the mechanism of its toxicity has been explored. Various modifications of GO have been made to help us determine the factors which could affect the toxicity of GO. The results indicated that cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of GO to HLF cells were concentration dependent, and the genotoxicity induced by GO was more severe than the cytotoxicity to HLF cells. Oxidative stress mediated by GO might explain the reason of its toxic effect. Furthermore, the electronic charge on the surface of GO would play a very important role in the toxicity of GO to HLF cells. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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