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Investigation of carbon nanotube degradation in vitro and in vivo using Raman spectroscopy

J. Conroy, A.A. Shvedova, V.E. Kagan, A. Meade, A. Knyazev, D. Kelleher, Y. Volkov
Trinity College Dublin, IE

Keywords: carbon naotubes, biodegradation, Raman spectroscopy


Previously we have published data (Nature Nanotech 2010) showing the biodegradation of single-walled carbon naotubes (SWCNT) by human neutrophils using Raman spectroscopy. It was found that there was an increase in the disorder D band relative to the G band with increasing incubation time, suggesting that the graphene sidewall was oxidised by the neutrophils, mediated by myeloperoxidase within these cells. In the work presented here we addressed the hypothesis if the biodegradation of SWCNT by myeloproxidase of neutrophils was the primary and only mode of degradation and investigated whether such biodegradation was visible in other cell lines and whole tissue.Unlike our previous studies which used single point spectra, this study uses a technique for performing 32 x 32 point Raman mapping of both the cells and tissue samples. This approach enabled us to identify and quantify degraded and non-degraded CNTs in cells and lung tissue samples in a model that has a close relevance to their potential physiological and technogenic exposure routes.
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