Photoluminescent carbon dots (CDs) fractions have been isolated from a gel-like material (GM), which was synthesized using a convenient one-step solvothermal route. In terms of purification, size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and dialysis were compared with acetone wash, which revealed the advantage of acetone wash. The pre-purified GM with acetone wash (A-GM) was further isolated by the reversed-phase preparative thin layer chromatography (TLC) with acetonitrile-water mixture (7 : 3; v /v ) as the developing solvent. As a result, there were four photoluminescent bands on the TLC plate, which indicated the presence of four photoluminescent fractions. Detailed characterization measurements such as UV/Vis absorption, fluorescence emission, attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, zeta potential, dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy, and TEM measurements were performed on all fractions to analyze their heterogeneous optical, structural, electrical, and morphological properties. Considering the comprehensive analysis, all isolated fractions were CDs. In addition, excitation wavelength-independent CDs were obtained with a mean size of 2.5 nm and high quantum yield (55 %). Furthermore, the study demonstrates that the excitation wavelength-dependent photoluminescence of GM could result from the mixture of different surface states of each CD fraction rather than multiple surface states of uniform CDs nanoparticles.
In contrast to the
recent immense attention in carbon nitride quantum
dots (CNQDs) as a heteroatom-doped carbon quantum dot (CQD), their
biomedical applications have not been thoroughly investigated. Targeted
cancer therapy is a prominently researched area in the biomedical
field. Here, the ability of CNQDs as a selective bioimaging nanomaterial
was investigated to assist targeted cancer therapy. CNQDs were first
synthesized using four different precursor sets involving urea derivatives,
and the characteristics were compared to select the best candidate
material for bioapplications. Characterization techniques such as
UV–vis, luminescence, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, nuclear
magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy
were used. These CNQDs were analyzed in in vitro studies
of bioimaging and labeling using pediatric glioma cells (SJGBM2) for
possible selective biolabeling and nanodistribution inside the cell
membrane. The in vitro cellular studies were conducted
under long-wavelength emission without the interference of blue autofluorescence.
Thus, excitation-dependent emission of CNQDs was proved to be advantageous.
Importantly, CNQDs selectively entered SJGBM2 tumor cells, while it
did not disperse into normal human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293).
The distribution studies in the cell cytoplasm indicated that CNQDs
dispersed into lysosomes within approximately 6 h after the incubation.
The CNQDs exhibited great potential as a possible nanomaterial in
selective bioimaging and drug delivery for targeted cancer therapy.
Drug traversal across the blood-brain barrier has come under increasing scrutiny recently, particularly concerning the treatment of sicknesses, such as brain cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Most therapies and medicines are limited due to their inability to cross this barrier, reducing treatment options for maladies affecting the brain. Carbon dots show promise as drug carriers, but they experience the same limitations regarding crossing the blood-brain barrier as many small molecules do. If carbon dots can be prepared from a precursor that can cross the blood-brain barrier, there is a chance that the remaining original precursor molecule can attach to the carbon dot surface and lead the system into the brain. Herein, tryptophan carbon dots were synthesized with the strategy of using tryptophan as an amino acid for crossing the blood-brain barrier via LAT1 transporter-mediated endocytosis. Two types of carbon dots were synthesized using tryptophan and two different nitrogen dopants, urea and 1,2-ethylenediamine. Carbon dots made using these precursors show excitation wavelength-dependent emission, low toxicity, and have been observed inside the central nervous system of zebrafish (Danio rerio). The proposed mechanism for these carbon dots abilities to cross the blood-brain barrier concerns residual tryptophan molecules which have attached to the carbon dots surface, enabling them to be recognized by the LAT1 transporter. The role of carbon dots for transport open promising avenues for drug delivery and imaging in the brain.
Carbon dots (CDs) are zero-dimensional carbonbased spherical nanoparticles with diameters less than 10 nm. Here, we report for the first time CDs forming stable Langmuir monolayers at the air−subphase interface. Langmuir monolayers are of great interest both fundamentally to study the interactions at the interfaces and for many applications such as the development of sensors. However, CDs usually do not form Langmuir monolayers because of their highly hydrophilic nature. In this study, amphiphilic CDs were prepared through hydrothermal carbonization using saccharides as the precursors. The surface chemistry behavior and optical properties of CDs at the air− subphase interface were studied. CDs derived from saccharides consistently formed stable Langmuir monolayers which show all essential phases, namely, gas, liquid-expanded, liquid-condensed, and solid phases. The compression−decompression cycle method showed minimum hysteresis (4.3%), confirming the retaining capacity of the CDs as a monolayer. Limiting CD areas from surface pressure−area isotherm at the air−subphase interface were used to calculate the average diameter of the CDs at the air−subphase interface. UV/vis absorption spectra of CDs dispersed in water and in Langmuir monolayers had the same bands in the UV region. The intensity of the UV/vis absorption increases with increasing surface pressure at the air−subphase interface. Interestingly, photoluminescence (PL) of the Langmuir monolayer of CDs was excitation-independent, whereas the same CDs had excitation-dependent PL when dispersed in water.
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