Multifunctional Poly(l-lactide)-Polyethylene Glycol-Grafted Graphene Quantum Dots for Intracellular MicroRNA Imaging and Combined Specific-Gene-Targeting Agents Delivery for Improved Therapeutics.

ACS applied materials & interfaces

PubMedID: 25942410

Dong H, Dai W, Ju H, Lu H, Wang S, Xu L, Zhou SF, Zhang Y, Zhang X. Multifunctional Poly(l-lactide)-Polyethylene Glycol-Grafted Graphene Quantum Dots for Intracellular MicroRNA Imaging and Combined Specific-Gene-Targeting Agents Delivery for Improved Therapeutics. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015;7(20):11015-23.
Photoluminescent (PL) graphene quantum dots (GQDs) with large surface area and superior mechanical flexibility exhibit fascinating optical and electronic properties and possess great promising applications in biomedical engineering. Here, a multifunctional nanocomposite of poly(l-lactide) (PLA) and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-grafted GQDs (f-GQDs) was proposed for simultaneous intracellular microRNAs (miRNAs) imaging analysis and combined gene delivery for enhanced therapeutic efficiency. The functionalization of GQDs with PEG and PLA imparts the nanocomposite with super physiological stability and stable photoluminescence over a broad pH range, which is vital for cell imaging. Cell experiments demonstrate the f-GQDs excellent biocompatibility, lower cytotoxicity, and protective properties. Using the HeLa cell as a model, we found the f-GQDs effectively delivered a miRNA probe for intracellular miRNA imaging analysis and regulation. Notably, the large surface of GQDs was capable of simultaneous adsorption of agents targeting miRNA-21 and survivin, respectively. The combined conjugation of miRNA-21-targeting and survivin-targeting agents induced better inhibition of cancer cell growth and more apoptosis of cancer cells, compared with conjugation of agents targeting miRNA-21 or survivin alone. These findings highlight the promise of the highly versatile multifunctional nanocomposite in biomedical application of intracellular molecules analysis and clinical gene therapeutics.