Experimental and theoretical evaluation of nanodiamonds as pH triggered drug carriers

Jingjing Yan, Yong Guo, Azza Altawashi, Basem Moosa, Sébastien Lecommandoux, Niveen M. Khashab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Nanodiamond (ND) and its derivatives have been widely used for drug, protein and gene delivery. Herein, experimental and theoretical methods have been combined to investigate the effect of pH on the delivery of doxorubicin (DOX) from fluorescein labeled NDs (Fc-NDs). In the endosomal recycling process, the nanoparticle will pass from mildly acidic vesicle to pH ≈ 4.8; thus, it is important to investigate DOX release from NDs at different pH values. Fc-NDs released DOX dramatically under acidic conditions, while an increase in the DOX loading efficiency (up to 6.4 wt%) was observed under basic conditions. Further theoretical calculations suggest that H + weakens the electrostatistic interaction between ND surface carboxyl groups and DOX amino groups, and the interaction energies at pH < 7, pH 7 and pH > 7 are 10.4 kcal mol -1, 25.0 kcal mol -1 and 27.0 kcal mol -1 respectively. Cellular imaging experiments show that Fc-NDs are readily ingested by breast adenocarcinoma (BA) cells and cell viability tests prove that they can be utilized as a safe drug delivery vehicle. Furthermore, pH triggered DOX release has been tested in vitro (pH 7.4 and pH 4.83) in breast adenocarcinoma (BA) cells. © The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 2012.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1479
JournalNew Journal of Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank financial support provided by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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