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Nano Research

Article Title

Graphene quantum dots: From efficient preparation to safe renal excretion

Authors

Caroline Hadad, Centre of Excellence for Nanostructured Materials , INSTM, Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy;Current address: Laboratoire LG2A - CNRS UMR 7378, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, 33 rue Saint Leu - UFR des Sciences, 80039 Amiens, France
José Miguel González-Domínguez, Centre of Excellence for Nanostructured Materials , INSTM, Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy;Instituto de Carboquímica , C/Miguel Luesma Castán 4, E-50018 Zaragoza, Spain
Silvia Armelloni, Renal Research Laboratory-Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, via Pace 9, 20122 Milan, Italy
Deborah Mattinzoli, Renal Research Laboratory-Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, via Pace 9, 20122 Milan, Italy
Masami Ikehata, Renal Research Laboratory-Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, via Pace 9, 20122 Milan, Italy
Akcan Istif, Centre of Excellence for Nanostructured Materials , INSTM, Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy
Adrian Ostric, Centre of Excellence for Nanostructured Materials , INSTM, Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy
Francesco Cellesi, Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali ed Ingegneria Chimica "G. Natta" , Politecnico di Milano, Via Mancinelli 7, 20131 Milan, Italy
Carlo Maria Alfieri, Renal Research Laboratory-Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, via Pace 9, 20122 Milan, Italy;Unit of Nephrology, Dialysis and Renal Transplant Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, via della commenda 4, 20122 Milan, Italy;Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Piergiorgio Messa, Renal Research Laboratory-Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, via Pace 9, 20122 Milan, Italy;Unit of Nephrology, Dialysis and Renal Transplant Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, via della commenda 4, 20122 Milan, Italy;Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Belén Ballesteros, Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology , CSIC and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Tatiana Da Ros, Centre of Excellence for Nanostructured Materials , INSTM, Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy

Keywords

graphene quantum dots, podocytes, biodistribution, uptake pathway, renal clearance, nanocarrier

Abstract

Carbon nanomaterials offer excellent prospects as therapeutic agents, and among them, graphene quantum dots (GQDs) have gained considerable interest thanks to their aqueous solubility and intrinsic fluorescence, which enable their possible use in theranostic approaches, if their biocompatibility and favorable pharmacokinetic are confirmed. We prepared ultra-small GQDs using an alternative, reproducible, top-down synthesis starting from graphene oxide with a nearly 100% conversion. The materials were tested to assess their safety, demonstrating good biocompatibility and ability in passing the ultrafiltration barrier using an in vitro model. This leads to renal excretion without affecting the kidneys. Moreover, we studied the GQDs in vivo biodistribution confirming their efficient renal clearance, and we demonstrated that the internalization mechanism into podocytes is caveolae-mediated. Therefore, considering the reported characteristics, it appears possible to vehiculate compounds to kidneys by means of GQDs, overcoming problems related to lysosomal degradation.

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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