Fluorinated Graphene Oxide: structure, morphology and its potential use in biological applications
Romero Aburto, Rebeca
Ajayan, Pulickel M.
Doctor of Philosophy
The main objective of this work is to report a novel carbon nanomaterial that can serve as a theranostic agent. This thesis will elaborate on the structure, chemical functionalization, morphology, size distribution and biological applications of this material. Then, this thesis will discuss the limitations of this material and propose an optimization for these drawbacks. Fluorinated Graphene Oxide (FGO) is reported for the first time as a potential multimodal contrast agent, drug carrier as well as a photothermal therapy. FGO is a sheet like material with oxygen and fluorine functional groups present in the structure, a complete characterization of the material is offered in the following pages. Non-cytotoxic FGO exhibited paramagnetic behavior and was able to confer Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast. When irradiated with a Near Infra Red (NIR)-laser, FGO was able to exhibit photoacoustic contrast and serve as a photothermal therapy being able to ablate cancer cells in vitro. The limitation of FGO is its size (500-1000nm). Therefore, density gradient ultracentrifugation was successfully used to size select this material, resulting in a fraction containing sheet sizes around 200nm. Additionally, Fluorinated Graphene Oxide Nanoribbons (FGONRs) will be synthesized, characterized and evaluated as a possible optimization of FGO. However, after the systematic FGONRs, did not result in an optimization with respect to FGO. The ribbons exhibit a diamagnetic behavior and their length is comparable to the length of FGO.