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IR-enhanced photothermal therapeutic effect of graphene magnetite nanocomposite on human liver cancer HepG2 cell model

Authors Salaheldin TA, Loutfy SA, Ramadan MA, Youssef T, Mousa SA

Received 28 November 2018

Accepted for publication 16 April 2019

Published 17 June 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 4397—4412

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S196256

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Anderson Oliveira Lobo


Taher A Salaheldin,1,2 Samah A Loutfy,3 Marwa A Ramadan,4 Tareq Youssef,4 Shaker A Mousa1

1Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Rensselaer, NY, USA; 2Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Central Lab, Agricultural Research Center, Giza, Egypt; 3Virology and Immunology Unit, Cancer Biology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 4Department of Photochemistry Photobiology, National Institute for Laser Enhanced Science (NILES) Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Background: Graphene magnetite nanocomposites (G/Fe3O4) exhibit light photothermal conversion upon enhancement by 808 nm IR laser excitation. We evaluated the cytotoxic and photothermal effects of G/Fe3O4 on a HepG2 human liver cancer cell model.
Methods: Graphene nanosheets (rGO), magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4), and G/Fe3O4 were prepared by chemical methods and characterized using transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, zeta analysis, and vibrating sample magnemeter. Dark and light cytotoxicity were screened with colorimetric Sulforhodamine B cell viability assay after 24 and 48 hours. DNA fragmentation and some apoptotic genes on a transcriptional RNA level expression were performed. All prepared nanomaterials were evaluated for their photothermal effect at concentrations of 10 and 50 μg/mL. The power density incident on the cells by 300 mW 808 IR diode laser was 0.597 W/cm2,.
Results: Treatment of HepG2 with 400 μg/mL of rGO, Fe3O4, and G/Fe3O4 showed alteration in cell morphology after 24 hours of cell treatment and revealed toxic effects on cellular DNA. Evaluation of the cytotoxic effects showed messenger RNA (mRNA) in β-actin and Bax apoptotic genes, but no expression of mRNA of caspase-3 after 24 hours of cell exposure, suggesting the involvement of an intrinsic apoptotic caspase-independent pathway. A photothermal effect was observed for G/Fe3O4 after irradiation of the HepG2 cells. A marked decrease was found in cell viability when treated with 10 and 50 μg/mL G/Fe3O4 from 40% to 5% after 48 hours of cell treatment.
Conclusion: Results indicate that G/Fe3O4 nanocomposite was effective at transformation of light into heat and is a promising candidate for cancer therapy.

Keywords: graphene magnetite nanocomposite, HepG2 human liver cancer, cytotoxicity, photothermal effect, PCR

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