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Graphene ‘flying carpet’ technique delivers one-two punch of anticancer drugs

An international team of researchers has developed a technique that utilizes graphene strips as “flying carpets” to deliver two anticancer drugs sequentially to , with each the distinct part of the cell where it will be most effective. The technique was found to perform better than either drug in isolation when tested in a mouse model targeting a human tumor.

Graphene 'Flying Carpet' Delivers 2 Anti-Cancer Drugs Sequentially
Researchers have attached two drugs — TRAIL and Dox — onto graphene strips. TRAIL is most effective when delivered to the external membrane of a , while Dox is most effective when delivered to the nucleus, so the researchers designed the system to deliver the drugs sequentially, with each drug hitting a where it will do the most damage.
Credit:Zhen Gu


The paper, “Furin-Mediated Sequential Delivery of Anticancer Cytokine and Small-Molecule Drug Shuttled by Graphene,” was published in early view online Dec. 15 in Advanced Materials. Lead author of the paper is Dr. , a former graduate student in Gu’s lab who is now on faculty at Nanjing Tech University. The co-corresponding author is Dr. Ran Mo, who is also a former postdoctoral researcher in Gu’s lab who is now on faculty at CPU. Co-authors include Wujin Sun, a Ph.D. student in Gu’s lab; Qiuwen Zhu, a Ph.D. student at CPU; Nancy Burns, a Ph.D. student at NC State; and Dr. Saad Khan, Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State.

This research was supported by the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute under grant number 1UL1TR001111 and with funding from NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill.

North Carolina State University