Noncovalent Pyrene-Polyethylene Glycol Coatings of Carbon Nanotubes Achieve in Vitro Biocompatibility

MERAN M., Akkuş P. D., KURKCUOGLU O., Baysak E., Hızal G., Haciosmanoglu E., ...More

LANGMUIR, vol.34, no.40, pp.12071-12082, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 40
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b00971
  • Journal Name: LANGMUIR
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.12071-12082
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have become increasingly exploited in biological applications, such as imaging and drug delivery. The application of SWNTs in biological settings requires the surface chemistry to remain through the low solubility in aqueous media. In this research, a facile approach for the preparation of a polyethylene glycol (PEG)-coated SWNT-based nanocarrier was reported. We focused on the effect of PEG chain length and SWNT size on the cytotoxicity of PEG coated SWNTs as a superior drug delivery nanovector. First, all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were employed to explore the stability and behavior of SWNT/pyrene-PEG (SWNT/Pyr-PEG) structures at a molecular level that is not attainable with experiments. The MD studies revealed that (i) a pi-pi stacking interactions between the pyrene bearing PEG molecules and SWNTs are maintained in bulky situations, regardless of PEG molecular weight or SWNT size; (ii) pyrene molecules diffuse over the SWNT surface without detaching; and (iii) both short and long dynamic Pyr-PEG chains have the capability of effectively coating the SWNT surface. In light of the simulations, noncovalent (pi-pi stacking) assemblies of SWNT/Pyr-PEG with different molecular weights of PEG (M-W = 2000, 5000, and 12000) were successfully fabricated and characterized. For longer PEG chains, more effective coating of SWNTs was obtained, resulting in more biocompatible SWNT/Pyr-PEG nanomaterials. The number of SWNTs coated by Pyr-PEG was highly dependent on the length of pyrene bearing PEG polymers. Moreover, the short SWNTs showed a higher amount of PEG coating with respect to the long SWNTs. Cell viability results demonstrated a dose-dependent cytotoxicity of coated SWNTs. Short SWNTs coated with longer PEG chains have low cytotoxicity to be used in in vivo studies.