Carbon Nano-Onions as Non-Cytotoxic Carriers for Cellular Uptake of Glycopeptides and Proteins
Nano Carbon Materials, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Via Livorno, 60, 10144 Turin, Italy
Electron Microscopy Facility, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Via Morego 30, 16163 Genoa, Italy
School of Chemistry and Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, D02 P902 Dublin, Ireland
School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University (DCU), Glasnevin, D09 C7F8 Dublin, Ireland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(8), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9081069
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 22 July 2019 / Published: 25 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescence Nanoprobes: From Synthesis to Applications)
Carbon nano-onions (CNOs) possess favorable properties that make them suitable for biomedical applications, including their small size, ready surface modification, and good biocompatibility. Here, we report the covalent immobilization of a synthetic glycopeptide and the protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) onto the surface of carbon nano-onions using the maleimide–thiol “addition reaction”. The glycopeptide and BSA are readily transported inside different cell lines, together with carbon nano-onions, through the endocytosis pathway. Our results show that carbon nano-onions are excellent scaffolds for glycopeptides and proteins immobilization and act as intracellular carriers for these biomolecules. These findings open new perspectives in the application of carbon nano-onions as intracellular transporters in diverse biomedical applications.