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1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES
The biological interactions of graphene have been extensively investigated over the last 10 years. However, very little is known about graphene interactions with the cell surface and how the graphene internalization process is driven and mediated by specific recognition sites at the interface with the cell. In this work, we propose a methodology to investigate direct molecular correlations between the biomolecular corona of graphene and specific cell receptors, showing that key protein recognition motifs, presented on the nanomaterial surface, can engage selectively with specific cell receptors. We consider the case of apolipoprotein A-I, found to be very abundant in the graphene protein corona, and observe that the uptake of graphene nanoflakes is somewhat increased in cells with greatly elevated expression of scavenger receptors B1, suggesting a possible mechanism of endogenous interaction. The uptake results, obtained by flow cytometry, have been confirmed using Raman microspectroscopic mapping, exploiting the strong Raman signature of graphene.
Alnasser, F. et al (2019). Graphene nanoflake uptake mediated by scavenger receptors. Nano Letters, 19(2), pp.1260-1268. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b04820