Coating Graphene Oxide with Lipid Bilayers Greatly Decreases Its Hemolytic Properties

Langmuir. 2017 Aug 22;33(33):8181-8191. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b01552. Epub 2017 Aug 11.


Toxicity evaluation for the proper use of graphene oxide (GO) in biomedical applications involving intravenous injections is crucial, but the GO circulation time and blood interactions are largely unknown. It is thought that GO may cause physical disruption (hemolysis) of red blood cells. The aim of this work is to characterize the interaction of GO with model and cell membranes and use this knowledge to improve GO hemocompatibility. We have found that GO interacts with both neutral and negatively charged lipid membranes; binding is decreased beyond a certain concentration of negatively charged lipids and favored in high-salt buffers. After this binding occurs, some of the vesicles remain intact, while others are disrupted and spread over the GO surface. Neutral membrane vesicles tend to break down and extend over the GO, while vesicles with negatively charged membranes are mainly bound to the GO without disruption. GO also interacts with red blood cells and causes hemolysis; hemolysis is decreased when GO is previously coated with lipid membranes, particularly with pure phosphatidylcholine vesicles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane
  • Graphite / chemistry*
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Phosphatidylcholines


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • graphene oxide
  • Graphite