New Antiglaucoma Nano-Based Drug Carrier Proposed


A new publication in the journal Carbohydrate Polymers focuses on the creation of a novel chitosan -graphene quantum dots (CS-GQDs) nanocomposite for the administration of latanoprost (LP), an antiglaucoma medication.

Study: Novel chitosan – graphene quantum dots composite for therapeutic delivery and tracking through enzymatic stimuli response. Image Credit: sebra/

The development of high-performance and biodegradable nanocomposites with versatile administration and monitoring properties is desirable for future medical applications.

Significance of Graphene Quantum Dots (GQDs)

Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are generated by exfoliating graphene oxide and possess unique physical and chemical properties.

The size-dependent photoluminescence (PL) property of GQDs greatly increases their usage in bio-imaging and drug delivery applications. GQD photoluminescence is believed to be caused by band-gap creation, heteroatom absorption, enhanced surface oxygen functionality, extremely active borders, and cringle-crangle topologies of GQD nanostructures.

Previously, luminous substances such as semiconductor inorganic compounds and pigments were used to monitor drug administration. Although semiconductor materials have the same fluorescent sensing capabilities as GQDs, they are often considered to be hazardous to live organisms. Furthermore, during stimulation, semiconductor materials tend to create oxidants, which contributes to the list of problems.

Given the constraints of semiconductor materials, GQDs have shown tremendous promise for drug delivery systems because of their diverse qualities such as non-toxicity, controllable stimulation, in vivo, and in vitro detection.

Synthesis of Novel CS-GQDs Nanocomposite for Drug Delivery Applications

In this study, the researchers investigated the possibility of using novel chitosan (CS)- graphene quantum dots (GQDs) nanocomposite for combined drug administration and bioimaging in response to enzymatic stimulation.

Chitosan was employed because of its increased bioactivity, excellent biocompatibility, cationic characteristics, and stimuli-responsive disintegration behavior, which makes it useful in a variety of biomedical applications. The researchers tested the effectiveness of manufactured CS-GQDs nanocomposite in drug delivery applications using latanoprost (LP), an anti-glaucoma medicine.

The GQDs were prepared using previously established procedures that were slightly modified. 2 ml of graphene oxide was put in a round bottom (RB) jar, and to oxidize it, a 3:1 mixture of sulphuric and nitric acid was added.

The RB flask was ultrasonically mixed for approximately two hours to achieve homogenous reagent dispersion. The reaction was performed at 120°C for about 24 hours, with frequent mixing, until the blackish liquid became yellow. GQD formation could be seen as a yellow fluid. The resultant fluid was centrifuged at 1000 rpm for 10 minutes, followed by hemodialysis for 24 hours, to recover pure GQDs. The GQDs that emerged were freeze-dried and kept in the refrigerator for further testing.

Characterization and Analysis of the CS-GQD Nanocomposite

The produced nanocomposite was optically characterized utilizing techniques such as UV-Visible spectroscopy, Emission spectrometry, and Fourier Transform-Infrared spectroscopic analysis using the attenuated total reflectance phase.

High Fidelity electron microscopy and Field Emission imaging were used to study the surface morphology of the graphene quantum dots. The chemical concentrations were examined using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Moreover, the drug was analyzed using the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique. Encapsulation efficiency and band-gap were also calculated using analytical formulas to estimate the drug delivery effectiveness of CS-GQDs nanocomposite.

Key Findings of the Research

In this work, a novel chitosan (CS)-graphene quantum dots (GQD) nanocomposite was effectively created for the administration and monitoring of latanoprost (LP).

Optical and surface morphological analyses revealed that the as-prepared isomeric GQDs, passivated GQDs, and CS drug hybrid was well characterized. Furthermore, the UV-visible spectroscopy findings, XPS binding energy levels, particulate growth, and zeta potential parameters showed the effective alteration of the nanocomposite.

Future Perspective

Constant improvements will be necessary in the future to perform the durable distribution of LP for prolonged-release dynamics.

The quantity of the dissolved drug of interest may be modified based on lysozyme production in the optical area. However, the existing combination of the CS and GQDs can still be employed as flexible material for an excellent ocular solution, eye drop, and soft lens manufacturing.

The current study is expected to offer up new paths for further research into CS-GQDs incorporated nanocomposites for enzyme-driven medicinal administration, monitoring, non-invasive treatments, and customized contact lenses.


Kumara, B., Shambhu, R., Prabhu, A. and Prasad, K., (2022) Novel chitosan – graphene quantum dots composite for therapeutic delivery and tracking through enzymatic stimuli response. Carbohydrate Polymers, p.119426.

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