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Ginkgo biloba: a natural reducing agent for the synthesis of cytocompatible graphene

Authors Gurunathan S, Han JW, Park JH, Eppakayala V, Kim JH

Received 25 August 2013

Accepted for publication 11 November 2013

Published 7 January 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 363—377

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S53538

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Sangiliyandi Gurunathan, Jae Woong Han, Jung Hyun Park, Vasuki Eppakayala, Jin-Hoi Kim

Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea

Background: Graphene is a novel two-dimensional planar nanocomposite material consisting of rings of carbon atoms with a hexagonal lattice structure. Graphene exhibits unique physical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, elasticity, and cytocompatible properties that lead to many potential biomedical applications. Nevertheless, the water-insoluble property of graphene restricts its application in various aspects of biomedical fields. Therefore, the objective of this work was to find a novel biological approach for an efficient method to synthesize water-soluble and cytocompatible graphene using Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) as a reducing and stabilizing agent. In addition, we investigated the biocompatibility effects of graphene in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells.
Materials and methods: Synthesized graphene oxide (GO) and GbE-reduced GO (Gb-rGO) were characterized using various sequences of techniques: ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Raman spectroscopy. Biocompatibility of GO and Gb-rGO was assessed in human breast cancer cells using a series of assays, including cell viability, apoptosis, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity.
Results: The successful synthesis of graphene was confirmed by UV-vis spectroscopy and FTIR. DLS analysis was performed to determine the average size of GO and Gb-rGO. X-ray diffraction studies confirmed the crystalline nature of graphene. SEM was used to investigate the surface morphologies of GO and Gb-rGO. AFM was employed to investigate the morphologies of prepared graphene and the height profile of GO and Gb-rGO. The formation of defects in Gb-rGO was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. The biocompatibility of the prepared GO and Gb-rGO was investigated using a water-soluble tetrazolium 8 assay on human breast cancer cells. GO exhibited a dose-dependent toxicity, whereas Gb-rGO-treated cells showed significant biocompatibility and increased ALP activity compared to GO.
Conclusion: In this work, a nontoxic natural reducing agent of GbE was used to prepare soluble graphene. The as-prepared Gb-rGO showed significant biocompatibility with human cancer cells. This simple, cost-effective, and green procedure offers an alternative route for large-scale production of rGO, and could be used for various biomedical applications, such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, biosensing, and molecular imaging.

Keywords: alkaline phosphatase activity, atomic force microscopy, biocompatibility, cell viability, graphene, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy

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