In vivo pharmacokinetics, long-term biodistribution, and toxicology of PEGylated graphene in mice

ACS Nano. 2011 Jan 25;5(1):516-22. doi: 10.1021/nn1024303. Epub 2010 Dec 16.


Graphene has emerged as interesting nanomaterials with promising applications in a range of fields including biomedicine. In this work, for the first time we study the long-term in vivo biodistribution of (125)I-labeled nanographene sheets (NGS) functionalized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and systematically examine the potential toxicity of graphene over time. Our results show that PEGylated NGS mainly accumulate in the reticuloendothelial system (RES) including liver and spleen after intravenous administration and can be gradually cleared, likely by both renal and fecal excretion. PEGylated NGS do not cause appreciable toxicity at our tested dose (20 mg/kg) to the treated mice in a period of 3 months as evidenced by blood biochemistry, hematological analysis, and histological examinations. Our work greatly encourages further studies of graphene for biomedical applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Graphite / chemistry
  • Graphite / pharmacokinetics*
  • Graphite / toxicity*
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Nanostructures / toxicity*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry*
  • Time Factors


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Graphite