Elucidation of siRNA complexation efficiency by graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide

Ngoc Do Quyen Chau, Giacomo Reina, Jésus Raya, Isabella Anna Vacchi, Cécilia Ménard-Moyon, Yuta Nishina, Alberto Bianco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Gene therapy has attracted tremendous attention as a promising method for the treatment of many diseases. Graphene oxide (GO), the oxidized form of graphene, is showing lot of potential in this field. Indeed, the polar GO oxygenated functional groups make this material highly hydrophilic, leading to a good dispersibility in water. Until now, the interaction of small interference RNA (siRNA) with graphene materials has not been elucidated. The main goal of this work was to develop a novel platform to complex siRNA molecules and to rationalize the supramolecular interactions between GO surface and the double strand RNA. Our study focused first on green and facile methods such as hydrothermal or vitamin C treatments to prepare graphene oxides at various percentage of oxygen. Epoxidation was also explored to reintroduce epoxide groups on reduced GO for further functionalization. Subsequently, we performed the covalent functionalization of GO with triethyleneglycoldiamine (TEG) and with low molecular weight polyethyleneimine (PEI) via the epoxy ring opening reaction. Finally, by gel electrophoresis, we were able to correlate the GO complexation ability with the graphene surface chemistry. In addition, ozonated GO functionalized with PEI showed a high complexing capacity for siRNA, proving to be a promising candidate for gene silencing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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