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Graphene oxide (GO) modulates the functions of antigen-presenting cells including dendritic cells (DCs). Although carbon nanotubes affect expression of the MHC class I-like CD1d molecule, whether GO can influence immune responses of CD1d-dependent invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells remains unclear. Here, we investigated the impact of GO on inflammatory responses mediated by α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), an iNKT cell agonist. We found that in vivo GO treatment substantially inhibited the capacity of α-GalCer to induce the iNKT cell-mediated trans-activation of and cytokine production by innate and innate-like cells, including DCs, macrophages, NK cells, and γδ T cells. Such effects of GO on α-GalCer-induced inflammatory responses closely correlated with iNKT cell polarization towards TGFβ production, which also explains the capacity of GO to expand regulatory T cells. Interestingly, the absence of TLR4, a receptor for GO, failed to downregulate, and instead partially enhanced the anti-inflammatory activity of GO against α-GalCer-elicited responses, implying negative effects of TLR4 signaling on the anti-inflammatory properties of GO. By employing an α-GalCer-induced sepsis model, we further demonstrated that GO treatment significantly protected mice from α-GalCer-induced lethality. Taken together, we provide strong evidence that GO holds promise as an adjuvant to modulate iNKT cell responses for immunotherapy.
Photosystem I (PSI) is a photoactive electron-transport protein found in plants that participates in the process of photosynthesis. Because of PSI's abundance in nature and its efficiency with charge transfer and separation, there is a great interest in applying the protein in photoactive electrodes. Here, we developed a completely organic, transparent, conductive electrode using reduced graphene oxide (RGO) on which a multilayer of PSI could be deposited. The resulting photoactive electrode demonstrated current densities comparable to that of a gold electrode modified with a multilayer film of PSI and significantly higher than that of a graphene electrode modified with a monolayer film of PSI. The relatively large photocurrents produced by integrating PSI with RGO and using an opaque, organic mediator can be applied to the facile production of more economic solar energy conversion devices.
Graphene is a novel material whose application in biomedical sciences has only begun to be realized. In the present study, we have employed three-dimensional graphene foams as culture substrates for human mesenchymal stem cells and provide evidence that these materials can maintain stem cell viability and promote osteogenic differentiation.
We report the fabrication of a hybrid light-harvesting electrode consisting of photosystem I (PSI) proteins extracted from spinach and adsorbed as a monolayer onto electrically contacted, large-area graphene. The transparency of graphene supports the choice of an opaque mediator at elevated concentrations. For example, we report a photocurrent of 550 nA/cm(2) from a monolayer of PSI on graphene in the presence of 20 mM methylene blue, which yields an opaque blue solution. The PSI-modified graphene electrode has a total thickness of less than 10 nm and demonstrates photoactivity that is an order of magnitude larger than that for unmodified graphene, establishing the feasibility of conjoining these nanomaterials as potential constructs in next-generation photovoltaic devices.
We report the use of atomically thin layers of graphene as a protective coating that inhibits corrosion of underlying metals. Here, we employ electrochemical methods to study the corrosion inhibition of copper and nickel by either growing graphene on these metals, or by mechanically transferring multilayer graphene onto them. Cyclic voltammetry measurements reveal that the graphene coating effectively suppresses metal oxidation and oxygen reduction. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements suggest that while graphene itself is not damaged, the metal under it is corroded at cracks in the graphene film. Finally, we use Tafel analysis to quantify the corrosion rates of samples with and without graphene coatings. These results indicate that copper films coated with graphene grown via chemical vapor deposition are corroded 7 times slower in an aerated Na(2)SO(4) solution as compared to the corrosion rate of bare copper. Tafel analysis reveals that nickel with a multilayer graphene film grown on it corrodes 20 times slower while nickel surfaces coated with four layers of mechanically transferred graphene corrode 4 times slower than bare nickel. These findings establish graphene as the thinnest known corrosion-protecting coating.
This report describes methods to produce large-area films of graphene oxide from aqueous suspensions using electrophoretic deposition. By selecting the appropriate suspension pH and deposition voltage, films of the negatively charged graphene oxide sheets can be produced with either a smooth "rug" microstructure on the anode or a porous "brick" microstructure on the cathode. Cathodic deposition occurs in the low pH suspension with the application of a relatively high voltage, which facilitates a gradual change in the colloids' charge from negative to positive as they adsorb protons released by the electrolysis of water. The shift in the colloids' charge also gives rise to the brick microstructure, as the concurrent decrease in electrostatic repulsion between graphene oxide sheets results in the formation of multilayered aggregates (the "bricks"). Measurements of water contact angle revealed the brick films (79°) to be more hydrophobic than the rug films (41°), a difference we attribute primarily to the distinct microstructures. Finally, we describe a sacrificial layer technique to make these graphene oxide films free-standing, which would enable them to be placed on arbitrary substrates.