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Antibiotic Conjugated Fluorescent Carbon Dots As A Theranostic Agent For Controlled Drug Release, Bioimaging, And Enhanced Antimicrobial Activity

Mukeshchand Thakur, Sunil Pandey, Ashmi Mewada, Vaibhav Patil, Monika Khade, Ekta Goshi, Madhuri Sharon

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A novel report on microwave assisted synthesis of bright carbon dots (C-dots) using gum arabic (GA) and its use as molecular vehicle to ferry ciprofloxacin hydrochloride, a broad spectrum antibiotic, is reported in the present work. Density gradient centrifugation (DGC) was used to separate different types of C-dots. After careful analysis of the fractions obtained after centrifugation, ciprofloxacin was attached to synthesize ciprofloxacin conjugated with C-dots (Cipro@C-dots conjugate). Release of ciprofloxacin was found to be extremely regulated under physiological conditions. Cipro@C-dots were found to be biocompatible on Vero cells as compared to free ciprofloxacin (1.2 mM) even at very high concentrations. Bare C-dots (13 mg mL−1) were used for microbial imaging of the simplest eukaryotic model—Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast). Bright green fluorescent was obtained when live imaging was performed to view yeast cells under fluorescent microscope suggesting C-dots incorporation inside the cells. Cipro@C-dots conjugate also showed enhanced antimicrobial activity against both model gram positive and gram negative microorganisms. Thus, the Cipro@C-dots conjugate paves not only a way for bioimaging but also an efficient new nanocarrier for controlled drug release with high antimicrobial activity, thereby serving potential tool for theranostics.