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Role of Graphene Nano-Composites in Cancer Therapy: Theranostic Applications, Metabolic Fate and Toxicity Issues

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 5 ]


Mahfoozur Rahman, Mohammad Zaki Ahmad, Javed Ahmad, Jamia Firdous, Farhan Jalees Ahmad, Gohar Mushtaq, Mohammad A. Kamal and Sohail Akhter   Pages 397 - 409 ( 13 )


Graphene and its modified nano-composites have gained much attention in recent times in cancer therapy as nanotheranostics due to low production cost, ease in synthesis and physicochemical properties (ultra-large surface area with planar structure and π-π conjugation with the unsaturated and aromatic drugs/biomolecules) being favorable for multiple payloads and drug targeting. Yet, graphene nano-composites are a relatively new and rapid development. The adoption of graphene nano-composites in cancer nanobiomedicine research raises questions about in vivo metabolism and disposition as well as biological interaction and safety profile of these nano-particles. Limited in-vitro and in-vivo findings are available in literature, indicating the inconsistencies about the factors affecting in-vivo bio-interaction and toxicity. Presently, there is a lack of anticipated biodistribution and toxicity pattern of graphene. It appears that surface functionalization, biocompatible coating, and size are the key factors in determining the metabolic fate of graphene nano-composites. In-vitro and in-vivo toxicity data suggests that graphene nano-composites exhibit dose and size dependent toxicity. This review summarizes up-to-date research outcome of this promising inorganic nanomaterial for cancer therapy. Moreover, the metabolic fate and toxicity issues of graphene and its nano-composites shall also be discussed in detail.


Biodistribution and excretion, cancer therapy, disposition, graphene, graphene oxide, inorganic nanoparticles, metabolism, nanomedicine, theranostics.


Department of Pharmaceutics, Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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