A Facile, One-Step Nanocarbon Functionalization for Biomedical Applications

Magdalena Swierczewska, Ki Young Choi, Edward L Mertz, Xinglu Huang, Fan Zhang, Lei Zhu, Hong Yeol Yoon, Jae Hyung Park, Ashwinkumar Bhirde, Seulki Lee, Xiaoyuan Chen
Nano Letters2012
Despite their immense potential in biomedicine, carbon nanomaterials suffer from inefficient dispersion and biological activity in vivo. Here we utilize a single, yet multifunctional, hyaluronic acid-based biosurfactant to simultaneously disperse nanocarbons and target single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) to CD44 receptor positive tumor cells with prompt uptake. Cellular uptake was monitored by intracellular enzyme-activated fluorescence, and localization of SWCNTs within cells was further confirmed by Raman mapping. In vivo photoacoustic, fluorescence, and positron emission tomography imaging of coated SWCNTs display high tumor targeting capability while providing long-term, fluorescence molecular imaging of targeted enzyme events. By utilizing a single biomaterial surfactant for SWCNT dispersion without additional bioconjugation, we designed a facile technique that brings nanocarbons closer to their biomedical potential.

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