Applied Surface Science, Vol.437, 357-365, 2018
Evaluation of physico-mechanical properties in NHDF and HeLa cell with treatment of graphene quantum dots using atomic force microscopy
We investigated the biocompatibility of GQDs in terms of the cellular response, an aspect often overlooked. Herein, we synthesized two types of GQDs - Glu-GQDs (GQDs which are derived from glucose) and Gr-GQDs (GQDs which are derived from graphite) - with different functional groups on their surfaces. Both types of GQDs shared similar morphological features (shape and size distribution); the size distribution varied between 1.5 nm to 9.5 nm in both cases. Spectral analysis confirmed the difference in their chemical composition. The presence of nitrogen and chlorine in the Glu-GQDs is the major distinction between the two types of GQDs. Fluorescence emission of the obtained GQDs was observed at 480 nm for the Glu-GQDs, and at 550 nm for the Gr-GQDs. The cytotoxicity in NHDF and HeLa cell line was evaluated by a CCK-8 assay, and it confirmed that the cell viability was above 80% despite the high concentration (1024 mu g/mL) in both cases. Cellular response after GQDs treatment was different from the control, but it was not lethal in the cell viability aspect. Furthermore, the potential of the GQDs as bio-imaging agents was examined using a fluorescence microscope and a laser scanning confocal microscope. The Glu-GQDs dispersed throughout the cells in NHDF and HeLa cell line, while the Gr-GQDs dispersed in the cytoplasm of the NHDF cells, and were distributed throughout the cell in HeLa. This study demonstrates that GQDs have potential in biomedical applications, even though their functionalities may be different. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.