2D graphene oxide particles induce unwanted loss in pluripotency and trigger early differentiation in human pluripotent stem cells

Jiwoong Heo, Jaewon Choi, Jin Young Kim, Hyejoong Jeong, Daheui Choi, Uiyoung Han, Ju Hyun Park, Hee Ho Park, Jinkee Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The potential health hazards of particulates, such as micro/nano-sized plastics and carbon materials have recently received extensive attention. However, their toxicological properties in association with stem cell differentiation is still relatively unexplored. In this study, we elucidated the cytotoxic effects of 2D graphene oxide (GO), in relation to differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Supplementation of GO to hiPSCs demonstrated uptake of GO through the plasma membrane and intracellular accumulation was observed. Increasing the concentration of GO led to reduced viability and increased likelihood of hiPSC colony detachment. Moreover, treatment of GO resulted in significant loss in pluripotency markers, OCT-4 and NANOG. In particular, when hiPSCs were cultured with GO in cardiomyocyte induction medium, upregulation of cardiomyocyte marker, NKX2.5, along with observation of early triggering of differentiation were observed. Taken together, our results highlight the risk in the uptake and accumulation of GO on the stem cell development by unwanted loss in pluripotency and accelerated initiation of differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125472
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 20008546 ). This research was also supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT ( NRF-2017R1E1A1A01074343 ). Additionally, this work was supported by the Technology Innovation Program (Alchemist Project, 20012384) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE, Korea).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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