Master of Science
Graphene and graphene oxide (GO) are two-dimensional nanomaterials with promising biomedical application potential, including drug and gene delivery, bio-imaging, and photothermal therapy. However, the nature of interactions between these materials and cells is poorly understood. Here, cell surface adhesion, subcellular localization, and size-dependent uptake are investigated in C2C12 cells using bovine serum albumin (BSA)-functionalized GO. Small BSA-GO nanosheets enter cells through clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME), while large nanosheets enter cells through both CME and phagocytosis. Cytotoxicity is minimal. AFM-based size/thickness characterization of BSA-GO is performed in a systematic fashion, and a practical protocol for such analysis is presented. Size-dependent uptake results provide needed information about fundamental cellular interactions between cells and two-dimensional nanomaterials and will be useful in future biomedical and toxicological studies. BSA-functionalized GO is employed as a model system for quantifying surface charge distribution in biologically-relevant materials, and preliminary surface potential measurements by Kelvin probe force microscopy are presented.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Gilbertson, Ben, "Cellular Uptake of Protein-Coated Graphene Oxide Nanosheets: Characterization, Mechanisms, Size-Dependence, and the Role of Surface Charge" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 552.