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Genotoxicity of graphene nanoribbons in human mesenchymal stem cells

Akhavan, Omid, Ghaderi, Elham, Emamy, Hamed, Akhavan, Fatima
Carbon 2013 v.54 pp. 419-431
DNA, RNA, blood, bovine serum albumin, carbon nanotubes, cell membranes, cell viability, chromosome aberrations, cytotoxicity, exposure duration, genotoxicity, graphene, humans, hydrazine, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, stem cells, umbilical cord
Single-layer reduced graphene oxide nanoribbons (rGONRs) were obtained through an oxidative unzipping of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and a subsequent deoxygenation by hydrazine and bovine serum albumin. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were isolated from umbilical cord blood and used for checking the concentration- and time-dependent cyto- and geno-toxic effects of the rGONRs and reduced graphene oxide sheets (rGOSs). The cell viability assay indicated significant cytotoxic effects of 10μg/mL rGONRs after 1h exposure time, while the rGOSs exhibited the same cytotoxicity at concentration of 100μg/mL after 96h. The oxidative stress was found as the main mechanism involved in the cytotoxicity of the rGOSs which induced a slight cell membrane damage, while RNA efflux of the hMSCs indicated that neither generation of reactive oxygen species nor the significant membrane damage of the cells could explain the cell destructions induced by the rGONRs. Our results demonstrated that, the rGONRs could penetrate into the cells and cause DNA fragmentations as well as chromosomal aberrations, even at low concentration of 1.0μg/mL after short exposure time of 1h.