Purpose: The present study aims to address this issue by functionalizing GO with Pluronic F127 (PF) as a means to mitigate toxicity and resolve the biocompatibility of GO. Although results from previous studies generally indicated that Pluronic functionalized GO exhibits relatively low toxicity to living organisms, reports that emphasize on its toxicity, particularly during embryonic developmental stage, are still scarce.
Methods: In the present study, two different sizes of native GO samples, GO and NanoGO, as well as PF-functionalized GO, GO-PF and NanoGO-PF, were prepared and characterized using DLS, UV-Vis, Raman spectroscopy, FTIR, and FESEM analyses. Toxicological assessment of all GO samples (0-100 µg/mL) on zebrafish embryonic developmental stages (survival, hatching and heart rates, and morphological changes) was recorded daily for up to 96 hours post-fertilization (hpf).
Results: The toxicity effects of each GO sample were observed to be higher at increasing concentrations and upon prolonged exposure. NanoGO demonstrated lower toxicity effects compared to GO. GO-PF and NanoGO-PF were also found to have lower toxicity effects compared to native GO samples. GO-PF showed the lowest toxicity response on zebrafish embryo.
Conclusion: These findings highlight that toxicity is dependent on the concentration, size, and exposure period of GO. Functionalization of GO with PF through surface coating could potentially mitigate the toxicity effects of GO in embryonic developmental stages, but further investigation is warranted for broader future applications.