[Show description][Hide description]DESCRIPTION: Currently, a broad interdisciplinary research effort is pursued on biomedical applications of 2D materials (2DMs) beyond graphene, due to their unique physicochemical and electronic properties. The discovery of new 2DMs is driven by the diverse chemical compositions and tuneable characteristics offered. Researchers are increasingly attracted to exploit those as drug delivery systems, highly efficient photothermal modalities, multimodal therapeutics with non-invasive diagnostic capabilities, biosensing, and tissue engineering. A crucial limitation of some of the 2DMs is their moderate colloidal stability in aqueous media. In addition, the lack of suitable functionalisation strategies should encourage the exploration of novel chemical methodologies with that purpose. Moreover, the clinical translation of these emerging materials will require undertaking of fundamental research on biocompatibility, toxicology and biopersistence in the living body as well as in the environment. Here, a thorough account of the biomedical applications using 2DMs explored today is given.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have shown great promise in several biomedical contexts, spanning from drug delivery to tissue regeneration. Thanks to their unique size-related properties, single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) are particularly interesting in these fields. However, their use in nanomedicine requires a clear demonstration of their safety in terms of tissue damage, toxicity and pro-inflammatory response. Thus, a better understanding of the cytotoxicity mechanisms, the cellular interactions and the effects that these materials have on cell survival and on biological membranes is an important first step for an appropriate assessment of their biocompatibility. In this study we show how bovine serum albumin (BSA) is able to generate homogeneous and stable dispersions of SWCNTs (BSA-CNTs), suggesting their possible use in the biomedical field. On the other hand, this study wishes to shed more light on the impact and the interactions of protein-stabilized SWCNTs with two different cell types exploiting multidisciplinary techniques. We show that BSA-CNTs are efficiently taken up by cells. We also attempt to describe the effect that the interaction with cells has on the dielectric characteristics of the plasma membrane and ion flux using electrorotation. We then focus on the BSA-CNTs' acute toxicity using different cellular models. The novel aspect of this work is the evaluation of the membrane alterations that have been poorly investigated to date.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Cancer is one of the primary causes of death worldwide. A high-precision analysis of biomolecular behaviors in cancer cells at the single-cell level and more effective cancer therapies are urgently required. Here, we describe the development of a magnetically- and near infrared light-triggered optical control method, based on nanorobotics, for the analyses of cellular functions. A new type of nanotransporters, composed of magnetic iron nanoparticles, carbon nanohorns, and liposomes, was synthesized for the spatiotemporal control of cellular functions in cells and mice. Our technology will help to create a new state-of-the-art tool for the comprehensive analysis of "real" biological molecular information at the single-cell level, and it may also help in the development of innovative cancer therapies.
No preview · Article · Apr 2016 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) nanosheets are emerging as promising 2D materials for different types of applications. However, biodegradation of hBN materials is poorly explored owing to their high chemical inertness and strong oxidation resistance. The assessment of oxidation/biodegradation of hBN is important in developing biomedical tools. Herein, we report the first study on the biodegradability of hBN nanosheets comparing the enzymatic catalysis of two different peroxidases, horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and human myeloperoxidase (MPO), with the photo-Fenton (P.F.) reaction. The results show that degradation of hBN nanosheets is different to that of graphene and graphene oxide, since partial oxidation was found using MPO after 35 h, while HRP failed to degrade hBN up to 60 days. Nearly complete oxidation/degradation was occurred by P.F. reaction in 100 h. These results are helpful in designing advanced conjugates for biomedical uses of hBN.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2016 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The assessment of the biodegradability potential of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is a fundamental point towards their applications in materials science and biomedicine. Due to the continuous concerns about the fate of such type of nanomaterials, it is very important to understand if they can undergo degradation under certain conditions and if the morphology and structure of the nanotubes play a role in this process. For this purpose we have decided to undertake a comparative study on the enzymatic degradation of CNTs with concentric multilayers. Double-walled (DW) and multi-walled (MW) CNTs of various lengths, degrees of oxidation and functionalizations using different methods were treated with horseradish peroxidase (HRP). While all tested DWCNTs resulted resistant to the biodegradation, some of the MWCNTs were partially degraded by the enzyme. We have found that short oxidized multi-walled CNTs functionalized by amidation were reduced in length and presented a high amount of defects at the end of the period of treatment with HRP. This comparative study holds its importance in the understanding of the structural changes of different types of nanotubes towards the catalytic enzymatic degradation and will help to design safer CNTs for future applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Graphene oxide (GO) is attracting great interest in biomedical sciences. The impact of GO on immune cells is one fundamental area of study that is often overlooked, but critical in terms of clinical translation. This work investigates the effects of two types of thoroughly characterized GO sheets, different in their lateral dimension, on human peripheral immune cells provided from healthy donors using a wide range of assays. After evaluation of cell viability, the gene expression was analyzed, following GO exposure on 84 genes related to innate and adaptive immune responses. Exposure to GO small sheets was found to have a more significant impact on immune cells compared to GO large sheets, reflected in the upregulation of critical genes implicated in immune responses and the release of cytokines IL1β and TNFα. These findings were further confirmed by whole-genome microarray analysis of the impact of small GO sheets on T cells and monocytes. Activation in both cell types was underlined by the overexpression of genes such as CXCL10 and receptor CXCR3. Significant energy-dependent pathway modulation was identified. These findings can potentially pave the foundations for further design of graphene that can be used for immune modulation applications, for example in cancer immunotherapy.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Advanced Healthcare Materials
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: In the present work we have devised the synthesis of a novel promising carbon nanotube carrier for the targeted delivery of radioactivity, through a combination of endohedral and exohedral functionalization. Steam-purified single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have been initially filled with radioactive analogues (i.e. metal halides) and sealed by high temperature treatment, affording closed-ended CNTs with the filling material confined in the inner cavity. The external functionalization of these filled CNTs was then achieved by nitrene cycloaddition and followed by the derivatization with a monoclonal antibody (Cetuximab) targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), overexpressed by several cancer cells. The targeting efficiency of the so-obtained conjugate was evaluated by immunostaining with a secondary antibody and by incubation of the CNTs with EGFR positive cells (U87-EGFR+), followed by flow cytometry, confocal microscopy or elemental analyses. We demonstrated that our filled and functionalized CNTs can internalize more efficiently in EGFR positive cancer cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Chemically functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) have been used in proof-of-concept studies to alleviate debilitating neurological conditions. Previous in vivo observations in brain tissue have suggested that microglia - acting as resident macrophages of the brain - play a critical role in the internalization of f-CNTs and their partial in situ biodegradation following a stereotactic administration in the cortex. At the same time, several reports have indicated that immune cells such as neutrophils, eosinophils and even macrophages could participate in the processing of carbon nanomaterials via oxidation processes leading to degradation, with surface properties acting as modulators of CNT biodegradability. In this study we questioned whether degradability of f-CNTs within microglia could be modulated depending on the type of surface functionalization used. We investigated the kinetics of degradation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) functionalized via different chemical strategies that were internalized within isolated primary microglia over three months. A cellular model of rat primary microglia that can be maintained in cell culture for a long period of time was first developed. The Raman structural signature of the internalized f-CNTs was then studied directly in cells over a period of up to three months, following a single exposure to a non-cytotoxic concentration of three different f-CNTs (carboxylated, aminated and both carboxylated and aminated). Structural modifications suggesting partial but continuous degradation were observed for all nanotubes irrespective of their surface functionalization. Carboxylation was shown to promote more pronounced structural changes inside microglia over the first two weeks of the study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Earlier studies proved the success of using chemically functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes (f-MWNTs) as nanocarriers to the brain. Little insight into the kinetics of brain distribution of f-MWNTs in vivo has been reported. This study employed a wide range of qualitative and quantitative techniques with the aim of shedding the light on f-MWNT's brain distribution following intravenous injection. γ-Scintigraphy quantified the uptake of studied radiolabelled f-MWNT in the whole brain parenchyma and capillaries while 3D-single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography imaging and autoradiography illustrated spatial distribution within various brain regions. Raman and multiphoton luminescence together with transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of intact f-MWNT in mouse brain, in a label-free manner. The results evidenced the presence of f-MWNT in mice brain parenchyma, in addition to brain endothelium. Such information on the rate and extent of regional and cellular brain distribution is needed before further implementation into neurological therapeutics can be made.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Controlled Release