Pentetic acid derived dual purpose fluorescent carbon dots for pH responsive drug delivery and antioxidant proficiency

Afzal Hussain, Mohamed Fahad Alajmi, S. Ganguly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heteroatom-doped surface-engineered carbon dots provide substantial potential, not only in their fluorescence sensing capabilities but also as nanocarriers for medicinal compounds and in exhibiting antioxidant behaviour. Here we describe a way to make naturally occurring carbon dots (PACDs) utilizing pentetic acid and gelatin in a one-step thermal coupling procedure. Antioxidant activity, biocompatibility, and colloidal stability were all highlighted by the PACDs. In order to assess the PACDs' drug transport capabilities, anticancer model drug molecules were also attached to their surface. Prolonged release patterns were seen in the drug-containing PACDs, indicating that they could be used for controlled drug delivery. Cumulative release data has been fitted into the Higuchi and Weibull models to understand the medication delivery process. The PACDs showed release characteristics that were sensitive to changes in pH; at acidic pH, the release profile could be more precisely controlled (∼28 %) than at alkaline pH (∼59 %). At PACDs concentrations <1 mg/mL, the radical activity is >80 % active; however this activity is greatly affected by the concentration. Because of their low toxicity to living human cell lines, PACDs are an attractive and versatile nano-vector for use in biomedical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111101
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.


  • Antioxidant activity
  • Carbon dots
  • Colloidal stability
  • Drug delivery


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