Improved pH-Responsive Release of Phenformin from Low-Defect Graphene Compared to Graphene Oxide
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonACS Omega. 2021, 6 (38), 24619-24629. 10.1021/acsomega.1c03283
Graphene-based drug carriers provide a promising addition to current cancer drug delivery options. Increased accessibility of high-quality graphene made by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PE-CVD) makes it an attractive material to revisit in comparison to the widely studied graphene oxide (GO) in drug delivery. Here, we show the potential of repurposing the metabolic drug phenformin for cancer treatment in terms of stability, binding, and pH-responsive release. Using covalent attachment of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) onto pristine (PE-CVD) graphene, we show that PEG stabilized graphene nanosheets (PGNS) are stable in aqueous solutions and exhibit higher binding affinity toward phenformin than GO. Moreover, we experimentally demonstrate an improved drug release from PGNS than GO at pH levels lower than physiological conditions, yet comparable to that found in tumor microenvironments.