PEGylated graphene oxide as a nanocarrier for podophyllotoxin

Shaojia Zhu, Hong Zhen, Yongjun Li, Ping Wang, Xiaoyu Huang, Ping Shi

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27 Scopus citations


Graphene, a two-dimensional nanomaterial, has become a hot spot of research at the interface of nanotechnology and biomedicine. In this study, the oxidized form of graphene, graphene oxide (GO), was functionalized with 6-armed polyethylene glycol (PEG), which rendered it stable and biocompatible in physiological solution. The successful synthesis of PEGylated graphene oxide (GO-PEG) nanocarrier with low toxicity was confirmed by UV-Vis spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. By dynamic light scattering (DLS), the size distribution of the nanoparticles were shown to be 60-200 nm. Furthermore, a complex by loading an aromatic anticancer compound, podophyllotoxin (PPT), onto GO-PEG (GO-PEG/PPT) via π-π stacking and hydrophobic interactions was investigated. It was demonstrated that GO-PEG/PPT showed remarkably high cytotoxicity compared to free PPT in both the human cervical adenocarcinoma HeLa cell line and human hepatoma SMMC-7721 cell line. The loading and delivery of anticancer drugs using this kind of graphene-based nanocarrier may find potential application in biomedicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2530
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was sponsored by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31100549 and 21204098), the Shanghai Nano-Technology Program (11nm0501100), the Scientific Research Foundation for the

Funding Information:
Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2232014A3-03 and 222201313010), the National Special Fund for State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering (2060204).


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Drug delivery
  • Graphene oxide
  • Nanomaterial
  • Podophyllotoxin


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