Single-cell mass cytometry and transcriptome profiling reveal the impact of graphene on human immune cells

Marco Orecchioni, Davide Bedognetti, Leon Newman, Claudia Fuoco, Filomena Spada, Wouter Hendrickx, Francesco M. Marincola, Francesco Sgarrella, Artur Filipe Rodrigues, Cécilia Ménard-Moyon, Gianni Cesareni, Kostas Kostarelos, Alberto Bianco, Lucia G Delogu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the biomolecular interactions between graphene and human immune cells is a prerequisite for its utilization as a diagnostic or therapeutic tool. To characterize the complex interactions between graphene and immune cells, we propose an integrative analytical pipeline encompassing the evaluation of molecular and cellular parameters. Herein, we use single-cell mass cytometry to dissect the effects of graphene oxide (GO) and GO functionalized with amino groups (GONH2) on 15 immune cell populations, interrogating 30 markers at the single-cell level. Next, the integration of single-cell mass cytometry with genome-wide transcriptome analysis shows that the amine groups reduce the perturbations caused by GO on cell metabolism and increase biocompatibility. Moreover, GONH2 polarizes T-cell and monocyte activation toward a T helper-1/M1 immune response. This study describes an innovative approach for the analysis of the effects of nanomaterials on distinct immune cells, laying the foundation for the incorporation of single-cell mass cytometry on the experimental pipeline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1109
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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