Carbon Dots as Nanotherapeutics for Biomedical Application

Author(s): Eemaan N. Cohen, Pierre P.D. Kondiah, Yahya E. Choonara, Lisa C. du Toit, Viness Pillay*

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 26 , Issue 19 , 2020

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Carbon nanodots are zero-dimensional spherical allotropes of carbon and are less than 10nm in size (ranging from 2-8nm). Based on their biocompatibility, remarkable water solubility, eco- friendliness, conductivity, desirable optical properties and low toxicity, carbon dots have revolutionized the biomedical field. In addition, they have intrinsic photo-luminesce to facilitate bio-imaging, bio-sensing and theranostics. Carbon dots are also ideal for targeted drug delivery. Through functionalization of their surfaces for attachment of receptor-specific ligands, they ultimately result in improved drug efficacy and a decrease in side-effects. This feature may be ideal for effective chemo-, gene- and antibiotic-therapy. Carbon dots also comply with green chemistry principles with regard to their safe, rapid and eco-friendly synthesis. Carbon dots thus, have significantly enhanced drug delivery and exhibit much promise for future biomedical applications. The purpose of this review is to elucidate the various applications of carbon dots in biomedical fields. In doing so, this review highlights the synthesis, surface functionalization and applicability of biodegradable polymers for the synthesis of carbon dots. It further highlights a myriad of biodegradable, biocompatible and cost-effective polymers that can be utilized for the fabrication of carbon dots. The limitations of these polymers are illustrated as well. Additionally, this review discusses the application of carbon dots in theranostics, chemo-sensing and targeted drug delivery systems. This review also serves to discuss the various properties of carbon dots which allow chemotherapy and gene therapy to be safer and more target-specific, resulting in the reduction of side effects experienced by patients and also the overall increase in patient compliance and quality of life.

Keywords: Carbon dot, nanomedicine, bio-imaging, bio-sensing, chemotherapy, gene therapy, antimicrobial therapy, neurological diseases.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 16 June, 2020
Page: [2207 - 2221]
Pages: 15
DOI: 10.2174/1381612826666200402102308
Price: $65

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