Graphene-based nanomaterials: biological and medical applications and toxicity

Nanomedicine (Lond). 2015;10(15):2423-50. doi: 10.2217/nnm.15.65. Epub 2015 Aug 5.


Graphene and its derivatives, due to a wide range of unique properties that they possess, can be used as starting material for the synthesis of useful nanocomplexes for innovative therapeutic strategies and biodiagnostics. Here, we summarize the latest progress in graphene and its derivatives and their potential applications for drug delivery, gene delivery, biosensor and tissue engineering. A simple comparison with carbon nanotubes uses in biomedicine is also presented. We also discuss their in vitro and in vivo toxicity and biocompatibility in three different life kingdoms (bacterial, mammalian and plant cells). All aspects of how graphene is internalized after in vivo administration or in vitro cell exposure were brought about, and explain how blood-brain barrier can be overlapped by graphene nanomaterials.

Keywords: biodiagnostics; biodistribution; blood–brain barrier; drug delivery; gene delivery; graphene; graphene derivatives; graphene oxide; tissue engineering; toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Graphite / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nanostructures*
  • Tissue Engineering


  • Graphite