, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 393-404
Date: 11 Jan 2011

Effects of gamma irradiation for sterilization on aqueous dispersions of length sorted carbon nanotubes

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Abstract

There is currently great interest in the potential use of carbon nanotubes as delivery vessels for nanotherapeutics and other medical applications. However, no data are available on the effects of sterilization methods on the properties of nanotube dispersions, the form in which most medical applications will be processed. Here we show the effects of gamma irradiation from a 60Co source on the dispersion and optical properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes in aqueous dispersion. Samples of different length-refined populations were sealed in ampoules and exposed to a dose of approximately 28 kGy, a level sufficient to ensure sterility of the dispersions. In contrast to literature results for solid-phase nanotube samples, the effects of gamma irradiation on the dispersion and optical properties of the nanotube samples were found to be minimal. Based on these results, gamma irradiation appears sufficiently non-destructive to be industrially useful for the sterilization of nanotube dispersions.