Biomolecules Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes and Their Applications

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In recent years, functionalization of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with biomolecules such as nucleotide acids, proteins, and artificial polymers have emerged as a new exciting field. Theoretical and experimental studies of structure and function of bio-inspired CNT composites have made great advances. The importance of nucleic acids, proteins, and synthesized polymers to the fundamental developments in CNT-based bio-nano-composites or devices has been recognized. In particular, biomechanics, biochemistry, thermodynamics, electronic, optical and magnetic properties, and biocompatibility and toxicology of the bio-inspired CNT composites have become a new interdisciplinary frontier in life science and nanomaterial science. Bio-inspired CNT composites have been actively exploited potentials in applications such as gene/drug delivery system, tissue engineering scaffolds, hydrogen storage, molecular imaging, biocatalyst systems, biosensors, and antifouling films. Here we review the main advances in this field over the past few years, explore their application prospects, and discuss the issues, approaches, and challenges, with the aim of improving and developing CNT-based bio-nanotechnology.