Carbon dots prepared from ginger exhibiting efficient inhibition of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Chi Lin Li, Chung Mao Ou, Chih Ching Huang, Wei Cheng Wu, Yi Ping Chen, Tzu En Lin, Lin Chen Ho, Chia Wei Wang, Chung Chien Shih, Hang Cheng Zhou, Ying Chu Lee, Woan Fang Tzeng, Tzeon Jye Chiou, Sin Tak Chu, Jinshun Cang, Huan Tsung Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorescent carbon nanodots (C-dots; 4.3 ± 0.8 nm) from fresh tender ginger juice provide high suppression of the growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2), with low toxicity to normal mammary epithelial cells (MCF-10A) and normal liver cells (FL83B). The inhibition is selective to HepG2 over other tested cancer cells, including human lung cancer cell line (A549), human breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231), and human cervical cancer cell line (HeLa). Western blot results reveal that the C-dots up-regulate the expression of p53 protein only in the HepG2 cell line. The 50% inhibiting concentration (IC50) value of the C-dots on HepG2 cells is 0.35 mg mL-1. Image cytometry results show significant uptake of C-dots by HepG2 cells that induce intracellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS, 18.2-fold increased), while other cells remain almost the same in ROS levels after treatment with C-dots (1.11 mg mL-1). The C-dots trigger the pro-apoptotic factor to promote HepG2 cell apoptosis. The C-dots effectively inhibit the growth of tumors in nude mice (104 ± 14 vs. 3.7 ± 0.2 mg with and without treatment within 14 days). This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4564-4571
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - Jul 28 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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