[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
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The integration of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into organized nanostructures is of great interest for applications in materials science and biomedicine. In this work we studied the self-assembly of [small beta] and [gamma] homologues of diphenylalanine peptides under different solvent and pH conditions. We aimed to investigate the role of peptide backbone in tuning the formation of different types of nanostructures alone or in combination with carbon nanotubes. In spite of having the same side chain, [small beta] and [gamma] peptides formed distinctively different nanofibers, a clear indication of the role played by the backbone homologation on the self-assembly. The variation of the pH allowed to transform the nanofibers into spherical structures. Moreover, the co-assembly of [small beta] and [gamma] peptides with carbon nanotubes covalently functionalized with the same peptide generated unique dendritic assemblies. This comparative study on self-assembly using diphenylalanine backbone homologues and of the co-assembly with CNT covalent conjugates is the first example exploring the capacity of [small beta] and [gamma] peptides to adopt precise nanostructures, particularly in combination with carbon nanotubes. The dendritic organization obtained by mixing carbon nanotubes and peptides might find interesting applications in tissue engineering and neuronal interfacing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite numerous applications, the cellular-clearance mechanism of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) has not been clearly established yet. Previous in vitro studies showed the ability of oxidative enzymes to induce nanotube degradation. Interestingly, these enzymes have the common capacity to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we combined material and life science approaches for revealing an intra-cellular way taken by macrophages to degrade carbon nanotubes. We report the in situ monitoring of ROS-mediated-MWCNT degradation by liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy. Two degradation mechanisms induced by hydroxyl radicals were extracted from these unseen dynamic nanoscale investigations: a non-site-specific thinning process of the walls and a site-specific transversal drilling process on pre-existing defects of nanotubes. Remarkably, similar ROS-induced structural injuries were observed on MWCNTs after aging into macrophages from one to seven days. Beside unraveling oxidative transformations of MWCNT structure, we elucidated an important, albeit not exclusive, biological pathway for MWCNT degradation in macrophages, involving NOX2 complex activation, superoxide production and hydroxyl radical attack, which highlights the critical role of oxidative stress in cellular processing of MWCNTs.