Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Engineered Fluorescent Carbon Dots as Promising Immune Adjuvants to Efficiently Enhance Cancer Immunotherapy


Currently, cancer immunotherapy appears to become an effective strategy for cancer therapy, but the state of unresponsiveness to tumor antigenic stimulation in immune system is one of the stumbling block to the clinical applications of cancer immunotherapy. Herein, nanomaterials have been increasingly applied in cancer immunotherapy in virtue of their irreplaceable superiority to carry antigens to specific sites and stimulate immune responses. Among the many excellent fluorescent nanomaterials, carbon dots (CDs) stand out from others as a result of their extraordinary performance. Therefore, photoluminescent CDs were used as vaccine adjuvants to be combined with tumor protein antigen model ovalbumin (OVA), with red, yellow and green colors of luminescence under different excitation wavelength. These CDs could positively contribute to antigen uptake and efficiently accelerate the maturation of dendritic cells (DCs). The obtained nanocomposite of CDs and OVA (CDs-OVA) could efficiently enhance the expression of costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, and the production of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) from DCs. And CDs-OVA could also strongly stimulate splenocyte proliferation and the production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ). In addition, this CDs-OVA vaccine could effectively be endocytosed and processed by immune cells in vivo, then they could induce strong antigen-specific cellular immune responses to inhibit the growth of B16-OVA melanoma cancer in C57BL/6 mice. This work represents not only the first research of CDs as vaccine adjuvants for tumor inhibition, but also opens many possibilities for more biomedical applications of CDs in cancer immunotherapy and potentials in clinical applications.

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 06 Sep 2018, accepted on 10 Oct 2018 and first published on 02 Nov 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR07252C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Engineered Fluorescent Carbon Dots as Promising Immune Adjuvants to Efficiently Enhance Cancer Immunotherapy

    L. Luo, C. Li, T. He, L. Zeng, J. Xing, Y. Xia, Y. Pan, C. Gong and A. Wu, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR07252C

Search articles by author