Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a clinically established therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, because of poor radio-thermal conductivity of liver tissues, RFA is less efficient against relatively larger (>5 cm) liver tumors. Recently, nanoparticle-enabled RFA has emerged as a better strategy. On the basis of our recent understanding on biodegradability and novel electrothermal properties of graphene, herein, we report development of transferrin conjugated, biodegradable graphene (TfG) for RFA therapy. Cellular uptake studies using confocal microscopy and Raman imaging revealed significantly higher TfG uptake by HCC cells compared to bare graphene. TfG-treated cancer cells upon 5 min exposure to 100 W, 13.5 MHz RF showed >85% cell death, which was 4 times greater than bare graphene. Further evaluation in 3D (3 Dimensional) HCC culture system as well as in vivo rat models demonstrated uniform destruction of tumor cells throughout the 3D microenvironment. This study reveals the potential of molecularly targeted graphene for augmented RFA therapy of liver tumor.
Dr. Manzoor K., D, B., Girish C. M., A, S., and S, N., “Transferrin-Conjugated Biodegradable Graphene for Targeted Radiofrequency Ablation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma”, ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering, vol. 1, no. 12, pp. 1211-9, 2015.