Receptor-targeting fluorescence imaging and theranostics using a graphene oxide based supramolecular glycocomposite

Ding Kun Ji, Yue Zhang, Yi Zang, Wang Liu, Xiongwen Zhang, Jia Li, Guo Rong Chen, Tony D. James, Xiao Peng He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (SciVal)
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Intercellular glycoligand-receptor interactions are implicated in a number of disease-related processes. Effective tools that target these receptors may facilitate disease theranostics. However, owing to their low binding affinity, multivalent presentation of glycoligands is needed to increase the avidity with transmembrane receptors. While previous strategies focus on the covalent coupling of glycoligands to a synthetic backbone, we show here that the use of graphene oxide (GO) greatly enhances the cellular and tissue imaging ability of a small-molecule fluorescence glycoprobe. We determine that GO with an optimum size may serve as a clustering platform to reinforce the interaction of the glycoprobe with its selective receptor on a cancer cell. This phenomenon has been consistently observed with the xenograft tissue of a tumor-bearing mouse. Using this principle we have further constructed a supramolecular glycocomposite by co-assembling the glycoprobe and an anticancer drug onto a single GO surface. In addition to imaging ability, this material displays improved toxicity for liver cancer cells that over express the glycoprotein receptor, when compared to the control cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9182-9185
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2015


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