Integration of PEG and PEI with graphene quantum dots to fabricate pH-responsive nanostars for colon cancer suppression in vitro and in vivo

Guang Yu Lee, Pei Ying Lo, Er Chieh Cho, Jia Huei Zheng, Min Li, Jen Hsien Huang, Kuen Chan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There has been great improvement in nanomaterial fields, and the biomedical potential of nanomaterials as drug delivery system is under intensive studies. Among them, graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are considered to be the next generation of carbon-based nanomaterial for biomedical applications. In this study, we utilized green fluorescent protein (GFP) nucleic acid, DNA-targeting chemoreagent doxorubicin (DOX), and branched polyethyleneimine (PEI) conjugated GQDs, to form pH-responsive nanostar drug carrier for colon cancer suppression investigation. GFP expression plasmid was applied to examine the delivery capacity of our drug carrier. DOX was encapsulated by intrinsic π-π interaction to form GQDs-polymer-DOX conjugates (GECD) as drug carrier. We proposed that once GECD enters the tumor lesion, the acidic tumor microenvironment protonated the tertiary amine of GECD from neutral to mild positive, possessed higher affinity to negatively charged cell membrane, triggered the drug release, and then cancer cells would be inhibited. The anti-cancer ability of our drug carrier system, GECD, was demonstrated in cancer cells by cell proliferation assay. Moreover, GECD exhibited its powerful anti-tumor capacity in the mice xenograft model. The in vivo and in vitro results indicate that our GECD with high cancer suppression capacity could be adopted for future cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100320
JournalFlatChem
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Drug delivery system
  • GFP nucleic acid
  • Graphene quantum dots
  • Targeted delivery
  • Tumor suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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