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Biocompatibility effects of biologically synthesized graphene in primary mouse embryonic fibroblast cells

Sangiliyandi Gurunathan*, Jae Woong Han, Vasuki Eppakayala, Ahmed Abdal Dayem, Deug-Nam Kwon and Jin-Hoi Kim*

Author Affiliations

Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-Dong, Gwangin-gu, Seoul 143-701, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:393  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-393

Published: 23 September 2013


Due to unique properties and unlimited possible applications, graphene has attracted abundant interest in the areas of nanobiotechnology. Recently, much work has focused on the synthesis and properties of graphene. Here we show that a successful reduction of graphene oxide (GO) using spinach leaf extract (SLE) as a simultaneous reducing and stabilizing agent. The as-prepared SLE-reduced graphene oxide (S-rGO) was characterized by ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Dynamic light scattering technique was used to determine the average size of GO and S-rGO. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy images provide clear surface morphological evidence for the formation of graphene. The resulting S-rGO has a mostly single-layer structure, is stable, and has significant water solubility. In addition, the biocompatibility of graphene was investigated using cell viability, leakage of lactate dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase activity in primary mouse embryonic fibroblast (PMEFs) cells. The results suggest that the biologically synthesized graphene has significant biocompatibility with PMEF cells, even at a higher concentration of 100 μg/mL. This method uses a ‘green’, natural reductant and is free of additional stabilizing reagents; therefore, it is an environmentally friendly, simple, and cost-effective method for the fabrication of soluble graphene. This study could open up a promising view for substitution of hydrazine by a safe, biocompatible, and powerful reduction for the efficient deoxygenation of GO, especially in large-scale production and potential biomedical applications.

Atomic force microscopy; Biocompatibility; Graphene oxide; Graphene; Scanning electron microscopy; UV-visible spectroscopy