News Release 

'Combo' nanoplatforms for chemotherapy

World Scientific

In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, researchers from Harbin Institute of Technology, China have systematically discussed the recent progresses, current challenges and future perspectives of smart graphene-based nanoplatforms for synergistic tumor therapy and bio-imaging.

Due to metastasis and drug resistance of the tumor, malignant tumors are still difficult to cure. Chemotherapy, alone or combined with radiotherapy, is still the standard treatment after resection. However, patients with chemotherapy drugs often suffer from undesired side effects to normal cells/tissues. The encapsulation of chemotherapy drugs into nanocarriers can remedy many current problems of conventional "free" drugs, such as limited stability, poor solubility, and rapid clearing.

Starting from simplex drug delivery system, the graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) materials have been developed to be "combo" nanoplatforms containing multiple therapeutic modalities due to their distinctive physical/chemical and optical properties including excellent biocompatibility, modifiable active groups, ultra-large surface area, and intense photothermal effect. The graphene-based nanoplatforms were used for the stimuli-responsive nanocarriers, showing excellent therapeutic effects activated by endogenous stimuli including low pH, overexpressed enzymes, biomolecules, elevated glutathione, and exogenous stimuli including light, magnetic/electric field, and ultrasound.

This article highlighted the recent advances in the manufacture of functionalized GO and rGO system. The main emphasis is on their biomedical applications, including surface modification, endogenous/exogenous drug delivery, chemotherapy-based synergistic therapy, and various imaging techniques.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21773050), the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. JC2018003), the Harbin Distinguished Young Scholars Fund (No. 2017RAYXJ024), and State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment (Harbin Institute of Technology) (No. 2017DX05)

For more insight into the research described, readers are invited to access the paper on NANO.

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