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Reduced graphene oxide–silver nanoparticle nanocomposite: a potential anticancer nanotherapy

Authors Gurunathan S, Han JW, Park JH, Kim E, Choi YJ, Kwon DN, Kim JH

Received 15 July 2015

Accepted for publication 6 September 2015

Published 5 October 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 6257—6276

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S92449

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Farooq Shiekh

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Sangiliyandi Gurunathan, Jae Woong Han, Jung Hyun Park, Eunsu Kim, Yun-Jung Choi, Deug-Nam Kwon, Jin-Hoi Kim

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

Background: Graphene and graphene-based nanocomposites are used in various research areas including sensing, energy storage, and catalysis. The mechanical, thermal, electrical, and biological properties render graphene-based nanocomposites of metallic nanoparticles useful for several biomedical applications. Epithelial ovarian carcinoma is the fifth most deadly cancer in women; most tumors initially respond to chemotherapy, but eventually acquire chemoresistance. Consequently, the development of novel molecules for cancer therapy is essential. This study was designed to develop a simple, non-toxic, environmentally friendly method for the synthesis of reduced graphene oxide–silver (rGO–Ag) nanoparticle nanocomposites using Tilia amurensis plant extracts as reducing and stabilizing agents. The anticancer properties of rGO–Ag were evaluated in ovarian cancer cells.
Methods: The synthesized rGO–Ag nanocomposite was characterized using various analytical techniques. The anticancer properties of the rGO–Ag nanocomposite were evaluated using a series of assays such as cell viability, lactate dehydrogenase leakage, reactive oxygen species generation, cellular levels of malonaldehyde and glutathione, caspase-3 activity, and DNA fragmentation in ovarian cancer cells (A2780).
Results: AgNPs with an average size of 20 nm were uniformly dispersed on graphene sheets. The data obtained from the biochemical assays indicate that the rGO–Ag nanocomposite significantly inhibited cell viability in A2780 ovarian cancer cells and increased lactate dehydrogenase leakage, reactive oxygen species generation, caspase-3 activity, and DNA fragmentation compared with other tested nanomaterials such as graphene oxide, rGO, and AgNPs.
Conclusion: T. amurensis plant extract-mediated rGO–Ag nanocomposites could facilitate the large-scale production of graphene-based nanocomposites; rGO–Ag showed a significant inhibiting effect on cell viability compared to graphene oxide, rGO, and silver nanoparticles. The nanocomposites could be effective non-toxic therapeutic agents for the treatment of both cancer and cancer stem cells.

Keywords: graphene–silver nanocomposites, silver nanoparticles, ovarian cancer cells, cancer stem cells, cell viability, caspase-3

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