Swarming carbon dots for folic acid mediated delivery of doxorubicin and biological imaging
Carbon dots (C-dots) are one of the most highlighted carbon-based materials for biological applications such as delivery of therapeutic payloads for cancer treatment mainly due to their biocompatibility and unique optical properties. In this work, we have explored the drug carrying capacity of highly fluorescent sorbitol-derived C-dots for targeted delivery of doxorubicin (DOX). We have used folic acid (FA) as a navigational molecule due to its high expression in most cancer cells. Before attachment of the DOX, the surfaces of the C-dots were protected with bovine serum albumin (BSA) to make them more biocompatible and able to hold a high amount of drugs. The release profile of DOX was studied using standard statistical models and confirmed to be first order at pH 7.2. Cellular imaging was performed using epifluorescence microscopy, which showed bright green coloured fluorescence due to internalization of C-dots specifically targeted with FA in HeLa cells.