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Surface Functionalization with Polyethylene Glycol and Polyethyleneimine Improves the Performance of Graphene-Based Materials for Safe and Efficient Intracellular Delivery by Laser-Induced Photoporation

Authors
  • Liu, Jing1
  • Li, Chengnan2
  • Brans, Toon1
  • Harizaj, Aranit1
  • Van de Steene, Shana3
  • De Beer, Thomas3
  • De Smedt, Stefaan1, 4, 5
  • Szunerits, Sabine2
  • Boukherroub, Rabah2
  • Xiong, Ranhua1
  • Braeckmans, Kevin1, 4
  • 1 (R.X.)
  • 2 (R.B.)
  • 3 (T.D.B.)
  • 4 Centre for Advanced Light Microscopy, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • 5 Joint Laboratory of Advanced Biomedical Technology (NFU-UGent), College of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University (NFU), Nanjing 210037, China
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Feb 24, 2020
Volume
21
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijms21041540
PMID: 32102402
PMCID: PMC7073198
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Nanoparticle mediated laser-induced photoporation is a physical cell membrane disruption approach to directly deliver extrinsic molecules into living cells, which is particularly promising in applications for both adherent and suspension cells. In this work, we explored surface modifications of graphene quantum dots (GQD) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polyethyleneimine (PEI) to enhance colloidal stability while retaining photoporation functionality. After photoporation with FITC-dextran 10 kDa (FD10), the percentage of positive HeLa cells (81% for GQD-PEG, 74% for rGO-PEG and 90% for rGO-PEI) increased approximately two-fold compared to the bare nanomaterials. While for Jurkat suspension cells, the photoporation efficiency with polymer-modified graphene-based nanomaterial reached as high as 80%. Cell viability was >80% in all these cases. In addition, polymer functionalization proved to be beneficial for the delivery of larger macromolecules (FD70 and FD500) as well. Finally, we show that rGO is suitable for photoporation using a near-infrared laser to reach 80% FD10 positive HeLa cells at 80% cell viability. We conclude that modification of graphene-based nanoparticles with PEG and especially PEI provide better colloidal stability in cell medium, resulting in more uniform transfection and overall increased efficiency.

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