Non-covalent conjugates of single-walled carbon nanotubes and folic acid for interaction with cells overexpressing folate receptors

John J. Castillo, Tomas Rindzevicius, Leidy V. Novoa, Winnie Edith Svendsen, Noemi Rozlosnik, Anja Boisen, Patricia Escobar, Fernando Martínez, Jaime Castillo-Léon

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    Abstract

    We here present amethod to form a noncovalent conjugate of single-walled carbon nanotubes and folic acid aimed to interact with cells over-expressing folate receptors. The bonding was obtained without covalent chemical functionalization using a simple, rapid “one pot” synthesis method. The zeta potential for the single-walled carbon nanotube–folic acid solution was _32.4 mV at pH 7.0 and the result indicates that the folic acid coating inhibited aggregation of the carbon nanotubes. Properties of the single-walled carbon nanotube–folic acid conjugate were analyzed using ultraviolet-visible, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopies. While the folic acid fluorescence signature was significantly quenched by the presence of single-walled carbon nanotubes, the Raman spectra of the conjugate displayed a decreased distribution of sp3 sites. Both results were attributed to the noncovalent functionalization of the single-walled carbon nanotubes with folic acid. A more detailed investigation of the single-walled carbon nanotube–folic acid conjugates utilizing scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy confirmed the presence of the well-defined folic acid coating on the individual single-walled carbon nanotubes. The single-walled carbon nanotube–folic acid conjugates were incubated with THP-1 cells and the internalization was evaluated by Giemsa staining with light microscopy, and cytotoxicity was evaluated using the MTT reduction assay. The cytotoxicity studies presented a low toxicity of the conjugates in the THP-1 cells. The low toxicity and the cellular uptake of single-walled carbon nanotube–folic acid by cancer cells suggest their potential use in carbon nanotube-based drug delivery systems and in the diagnosis of cancer or tropical diseases such as leishmaniasis.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
    Volume1
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)1475–1481
    ISSN2050-750X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013

    Keywords

    • RAMAN-SPECTROSCOPY
    • CANCER-CELLS
    • FUNCTIONALIZATION;
    • CHITOSAN
    • NANOPARTICLES
    • RECOGNITION
    • MICROSCOPY
    • DISPERSION

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