A closer look at the genotoxicity of graphene based materials

Cansu Gurcan, Hadiseh Taheri, Alberto Bianco, Lucia Gemma Delogu, Acelya Yilmazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Graphene-based materials (GBMs) have attracted many scientists because of their optical, thermal, mechanical and electronic properties. Their good dispersibility in different type of solvents including water, the possibility to formulate them according to desired function, and the wide surface area, which can allow various chemical modifications, expanded the use of these materials in biological systems. For these reasons, GBMs have been extensively studied in vitro and in vivo in the biomedical field. However, the toxicity and genotoxicity of GBMs must be thoroughly investigated before they can be translated into clinical settings. The main mechanism of graphene toxicity is thought to be caused by reactive oxygen species produced in cells, which in turn interact with various biomolecules including DNA. In this review we aimed to discuss different genotoxicity studies performed with GBMs with specific focus on the different cell types and conditions. By comparing and discussing such reports, scientists will be able to engineer non toxic GBMs for future preclinical and/or clinical studies. In order to allow a safer and faster transition to clinic, future studies should involve state-of-the-art technologies such as systems biology approaches or three-dimensional microfluidic systems, which can better predict the normal physiological scenario.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014007
JournalJPhys Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Graphene
  • In vitro
  • In vivo
  • Nanomaterials
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science


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