• cellular uptake;
  • gold;
  • graphene oxide;
  • nanoparticles;
  • Raman spectroscopy


The last few years have witnessed rapid development of biological and medical applications of graphene oxide (GO), such as drug/gene delivery, biosensing, and bioimaging. However, little is known about the cellular uptake mechanism and pathway of GO. In this work, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy is employed to investigate the cellular internalization of GO loaded with Au nanoparticles (NPs) by Ca Ski cells. The presence of Au NPs on the surface of GO enables detection of enhanced intrinsic Raman signals of GO inside the cell. The SERS results reveal that GO is distributed inhomogeneously inside the cell. Furthermore, internalization of Au-GO into Ca Ski cells is mainly via clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and is an energy-dependent process.