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27 September 2012 Modified carbon nanotubes: from nanomedicine to nanotoxicology
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Nanomedicine is the science of fabricating smart devices able to diagnose and treat diseases more efficiently than conventional medicine while minimizing costs, complexity and adverse effects. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are receiving considerable attention for biomedical applications due to their extraordinary properties. In particular, their chemical nature and high aspect ratio (ratio between the length and the diameter) make them ideal carriers to achieve delivery of high doses of therapeutic and imaging cargo to a specific site of interest. A major obstacle to the use of pristine (unmodified) CNTs in biological systems is their complete aqueous insolubility and low biocompatibility and toxicity profiles. To endow CNTs with solubility in a biological milieu, several non-covalent and covalent modification methods have been explored. Suitably modified CNTs have shown increased solubility under physiological conditions, improved biocompatibility profiles and lack of toxicity after injection in living animals. Additionally, after being loaded with cargo (small molecules, proteins, peptides or nucleic acids) they have been successfully evaluated as pharmaceutical, therapeutic and diagnostic tools.
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Massimo Bottini and Nunzio Bottini "Modified carbon nanotubes: from nanomedicine to nanotoxicology", Proc. SPIE 8462, Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Associated Devices V, 84620T (27 September 2012);

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