Toxicity of graphene-family nanoparticles: a general review of the origins and mechanisms
Graphene oxide is the hot topic of biomedical and pharmaceutical research of this decade. However, its complex interactions with human blood components complicate a transition of the promising in vitro results to clinical settings. Even if graphene oxide is made with same atoms our organs, tissues, and cells, its bi-dimensional nature causes unique interactions with blood proteins and biological membranes and can lead to severe effects like thrombogenicity and immune cells activation. In this review, we will describe the journey of graphene oxide after injection in the bloodstream, from the initial interactions with plasma proteins to the formation of the “biomolecular corona”, and biodistribution. We will consider the link between the chemical properties of graphene oxide (and its functionalized/reduced derivatives), protein binding and in vivo response. We will also summarize data on biodistribution and toxicity in view of current knowledge of biomolecular corona influence on these processes. Our aim is to shed light on unsolved problems of graphene oxide corona literature to build the groundwork for future drug delivery technology development.
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