Carbon nanodots: potential applications in biosensing, drug delivery and free radical regulation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Durga Manjari Arvapalli (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jianjun Wei

Abstract: Carbon nanodots (CNDs) outshined other traditional carbonaceous nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, etc., due to their unique properties, such as low toxicity, high biocompatibility, excellent photoluminescence, and ease of functionalization. Past few years, the research has been focused extensively on synthesis, and application of the CNDs in various bio-medical fields, yet the full potential in understanding the properties and mechanisms needs to be explored. The current research dissertation focusses on fundamentals and the applications of selected carbon nanodots in three different aspects: biosensing, drug delivery and free radical regulation. The first part of the research concentrates on the synthesis of high quantum yield CNDs and their use as fluorescence turn off sensor in the detection of iron ions with improved selectivity and sensitivity. Upon addition of iron ions, the fluorescence intensity of the CNDs decreases in concentration dependent manner, attributing to the charge transfer between CNDs and iron ions, which is further verified using electrochemical analysis. The second part of the research is focused on the loading of curcumin onto CNDs to enhance the bioavailability of the hydrophobic drug. Curcumin release studies show better release in an acidic environment (pH-5.0), conferring the chance of more drug release in tumor microenvironment compared to normal tissues. Curcumin loaded CNDs present increased cellular cytotoxicity in cancer cells even at low concentrations, proving the efficacy of the CNDs as drug delivery vehicles. The third part of the research investigates the concentration dependent pro-oxidant and antioxidant properties of photoluminescent curcumin-derived nanoparticles (Curc-dots) synthesized from native curcumin. The synthesized Curc-dots retained some of the characteristic functional groups of the native curcumin with size less than 10 nm. The cell viability studies showed the antioxidant and prooxidant effects of the Curc-dots at low and high concentrations, respectively. The Curc-dots are taken up by cells with a bright blue fluorescence in cells and demonstrated chemo-protective nature when treated with H2O2, a free radical inducer. Overall, the findings from this dissertation research opens a wide platform in understanding the underlying mechanisms and unique properties of CNDs in various fields of medicine such as drug delivery, and bioimaging.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Carbon nanodots, Curcumin
Nanostructured materials

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