Graphene quantum dots (GQD) have attracted much attention due to their unique properties in biomedical application, such as biosensing, imaging, and drug delivering. However, scale preparing red luminescing GQD is still challenging now. Herein, with the help of electron beam irradiation, a simple, rapid, and efficient up-to-down strategy was developed to synthesize GQD with size of 2.75 nm emitting 610 nm luminescence. GQD were further functionalized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and exhibited good solubility and biocompatibility. The potential in vivo toxicity of PEGylated GQD could completely be eliminated by the clinic cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin. PEGylated GQD could selectively accumulate in tumor after intravenous injection as a security, reliable and sensitive tumor fluorescence imaging agent. Therefore, this work presented a new method preparing red luminescing GQD for biomedical application.
Keywords: Electron beam irradiation; Graphene quantum dots; Red luminescence; Tumor imaging.
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