Nano Express

Nanoscale Research Letters

, 4:668

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Combination of Polymer Technology and Carbon Nanotube Array for the Development of an Effective Drug Delivery System at Cellular Level

  • Cristina RiggioAffiliated withScuola Superiore Sant’AnnaCRIM & ARTS Lab - Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Email author 
  • , Gianni CiofaniAffiliated withScuola Superiore Sant’Anna
  • , Vittoria RaffaAffiliated withScuola Superiore Sant’Anna
  • , Alfred CuschieriAffiliated withScuola Superiore Sant’Anna
  • , Silvestro MiceraAffiliated withScuola Superiore Sant’AnnaSwiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)


In this article, a carbon nanotube (CNT) array-based system combined with a polymer thin film is proposed as an effective drug release device directly at cellular level. The polymeric film embedded in the CNT array is described and characterized in terms of release kinetics, while in vitro assays on PC12 cell line have been performed in order to assess the efficiency and functionality of the entrapped agent (neural growth factor, NGF). PC12 cell differentiation, following incubation on the CNT array embedding the alginate delivery film, demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed solution. The achieved results indicate that polymeric technology could be efficiently embedded in CNT array acting as drug delivery system at cellular level. The implication of this study opens several perspectives in particular in the field of neurointerfaces, combining several functions into a single platform.


Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes Drug delivery Alginate NGF PC12 cells