Gene delivery to mammalian cells using a graphene nanoribbon platform
We have developed a novel oxidized graphene nanoribbon-based platform (O-GNR) for gene delivery of double-stranded DNA into mammalian cells. O-GNRs, synthesized via longitudinal unzipping of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), exhibited efficient DNA loading of small dsDNA fragments. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy identified stretching peaks in the O-P-O and DNA sugar phosphate backbone that were consistent with DNA loading onto O-GNRs. The presence of salts in the loading buffer promoted DNA loading and effective dispersion of O-GNRs. DNA:O-GNR complexes were stable upon treatment with surfactants Tween 20 and Triton-X100. O-GNRs did not impact the viability of mammalian cells. Last, the detection of GFP expression upon transfection of the DNA:O-GNR complex indicated that the cargo DNA is expressed in the nucleus. Taken together, O-GNRs function as a platform for gene delivery to mammalian cells.