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Functional Graphene Oxide as a Nanocarrier for Controlled Loading and Targeted Delivery of Mixed Anticancer Drugs

Authors

  • Liming Zhang,

    1. Suzhou Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics Chinese Academy of Sciences 398 Ruoshui Road, Dushu Lake Higher Education Town Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215125 (P. R. China)
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences 19(A) Yuquan Road, Beijing 100039 (P. R. China) and Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences Zhong Guan Cun Bei Yi Jie 2, Beijing 100190 (P. R. China)
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  • Jingguang Xia,

    1. Suzhou Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics Chinese Academy of Sciences 398 Ruoshui Road, Dushu Lake Higher Education Town Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215125 (P. R. China)
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  • Qinghuan Zhao,

    1. Suzhou Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics Chinese Academy of Sciences 398 Ruoshui Road, Dushu Lake Higher Education Town Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215125 (P. R. China)
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  • Liwei Liu,

    1. Suzhou Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics Chinese Academy of Sciences 398 Ruoshui Road, Dushu Lake Higher Education Town Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215125 (P. R. China)
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  • Zhijun Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Suzhou Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics Chinese Academy of Sciences 398 Ruoshui Road, Dushu Lake Higher Education Town Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215125 (P. R. China)
    • Suzhou Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics Chinese Academy of Sciences 398 Ruoshui Road, Dushu Lake Higher Education Town Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215125 (P. R. China)
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Abstract

A simple synthetic route for the preparation of functional nanoscale graphene oxide (NGO), a novel nanocarrier for the loading and targeted delivery of anticancer drugs, is reported. The NGO is functionalized with sulfonic acid groups, which render it stable in physiological solution, followed by covalent binding of folic acid (FA) molecules to the NGO, thus allowing it to specifically target MCF-7 cells, human breast cancer cells with FA receptors. Furthermore, controlled loading of two anticancer drugs, doxorubicin (DOX) and camptothecin (CPT), onto the FA-conjugated NGO (FA–NGO) via π–π stacking and hydrophobic interactions is investigated. It is demonstrated that FA–NGO loaded with the two anticancer drugs shows specific targeting to MCF-7 cells, and remarkably high cytotoxicity compared to NGO loaded with either DOX or CPT only. Considering that the combined use of two or more drugs, a widely adopted clinical practice, often displays much better therapeutic efficacy than that of a single drug, the controlled loading and targeted delivery of mixed anticancer drugs using these graphene-based nanocarriers may find widespread application in biomedicine.

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