Amphiphilic-like carbon dots as antitumoral drug vehicles and phototherapeutical agents
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AutorOrtega Muñoz, Mariano; Vargas Navarro, Paula; Plesselova, Simona; Girón González, María Dolores; Iglesias Salto, Guillermo Ramón; Salto González, Rafael; Hernández Mateo, Fernando; Delgado Mora, Ángel Vicente; López Jaramillo, Javier; Santoyo González, Francisco
Royal Society of Chemistry
Mater. Chem. Front., 2021, Advance Article. DOI: [10.1039/d1qm00855b]
PatrocinadorMinisterio de Ciencia, Innovacion y Universidades PGC2018-098770-B-I00 CTQ2017-86125-P; Junta de Andalucia B-FQM-141-UGR18 A1-FQM-341-UGR-18 C-FQM-497-UGR18
Water-insoluble carbon dots are recognized as promising materials, although their applications in nanomedicine are rarely explored, despite their lipophilic character and foreseen compatibility with biological membranes. In this article, we exploit the anhydride functionalization of carbon dots obtained by thermolysis of citric acid to synthesize amphiphilic-like carbon dots (LCDs) by reaction with alkyl amines. A differential feature of this approach is that the hydrophobicity of LCDs is a balance between the ionization of the carboxylic groups resulting from the reaction and the hydrophobicity from the grafted amines. The alkyl chains allow LCDs to entrap hydrophobic molecules and the ionization of the carboxylic groups increases the hydrosolubility, permitting the transfer between organic and aqueous phases. The biomedical interest of these features is illustrated by analyzing the application of LCDs as carriers of the drug campothecin and their evaluation on a battery of cancer cell lines, as well as the transformation of LCDs into a phototherapeutic agent by the formation of a complex with IR780 dye. Results demonstrate that LCDs behave as nanocarriers in a manner that resembles other supramolecular hosts with two differential features: (i) the length of the alkyl chains determines the size of the hosted guest, and (ii) the hydrosolubility of the complex can be modulated by pH.