Doxorubicin-loaded graphene oxide nanocomposites in cancer medicine: Stimuli-responsive carriers, co-delivery and suppressing resistance

Milad Ashrafizadeh, Hamidreza Saebfar, Mohammad Hossein Gholami, Kiavash Hushmandi, Amirhossein Zabolian, Pooria Bikarannejad, Mehrdad Hashemi, Salman Daneshi, Sepideh Mirzaei, Esmaeel Sharifi, Alan Prem Kumar, Haroon Khan, Hamid Heydari Sheikh Hossein, Massoud Vosough, Navid Rabiee, Vijay Thakur Kumar, Pooyan Makvandi, Yogendra Kumar Mishra, Franklin R Tay, Yuzhuo WangAli Zarrabi*, Gorka Orive*, Ebrahim Mostafavi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The application of doxorubicin (DOX) in cancer therapy has been limited due to its drug resistance and poor internalization. Graphene oxide (GO) nanostructures have the capacity for DOX delivery while promoting its cytotoxicity in cancer. Areas covered: The favorable characteristics of GO nanocomposites, preparation method, and application in cancer therapy are described. Then, DOX resistance in cancer, GO-mediated photothermal therapy, and DOX delivery for cancer suppression are described. Preparation of stimuli-responsive GO nanocomposites, surface functionalization, hybrid nanoparticles, and theranostic applications are emphasized in DOX chemotherapy. Expert opinion: GO nanoparticle-based photothermal therapy maximizes the anti-cancer activity of DOX against cancer cells. Besides DOX delivery, GO nanomaterials are capable of loading anti-cancer agents and genetic tools to minimize drug resistance and enhance the cytolytic impact of DOX in cancer eradication. To enhance DOX accumulation, stimuli-responsive (redox-, light-, enzyme- and pH-sensitive) GO nanoparticles have been developed for DOX delivery. Development of targeted delivery of DOX-loaded GO nanomaterials against cancer cells may be achieved by surface modification of polymers such as polyethylene glycol, hyaluronic acid, and chitosan. DOX-loaded GO nanoparticles have demonstrated theranostic potential. Hybridization of GO with other nanocarriers such as silica and gold nanoparticles further broadens their potential anti-cancer therapy applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-382
Number of pages28
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number4
Early online date14 Feb 2022
Publication statusFirst published - 14 Feb 2022


  • Anti-cancer chemotherapy
  • carbon nanomaterials
  • doxorubicin
  • drug resistance
  • graphene oxide
  • stimuli-responsive


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