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“Ultramixing”: A Simple and Effective Method To Obtain Controlled and Stable Dispersions of Graphene Oxide in Cell Culture Media

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journal contribution
posted on 29.01.2019, 00:00 by Giacomo Reina, Amalia Ruiz, Diane Murera, Yuta Nishina, Alberto Bianco
The last decade has seen an increase in the application of graphene oxide (GO) in the biomedical field. GO has been successfully exploited for its ability to deliver many kinds of drugs into target cells. However, GO toxicity assessment is still controversial. Several studies have demonstrated that GO protein coating is crucial to alleviate the material’s toxicity. Besides, coronation leads to the formation of big agglomerates, reducing the cellular uptake of the material and thus its therapeutic efficiency. In this work, we propose a simple and efficient method based on rapid (ultra-turrax, UT) mixing to control protein corona formation. Using the UT protocol, we were able to reduce GO agglomeration in the presence of proteins and obtain stable GO dispersions in cell culture media. By labelling GO with luminescent nanoparticles (quantum dots), we studied the GO internalization kinetic and efficiency. Comparing the “classic” and UT protocols, we found that the latter allows faster and more efficient internalization both in macrophages and HeLa cells without affecting cell viability. We believe that the use of UT protocol will be interesting and suitable for the preparation of next-generation GO-based drug-delivery platforms.