Pharmaceutical Research

, 26:746 | Cite as

Crucial Functionalizations of Carbon Nanotubes for Improved Drug Delivery: A Valuable Option?

Expert Review


Amidst the myriad of Drug Delivery Systems able to enhance delivery, absorption and intracellular uptake of a bioactive molecule while protecting it from deactivation, Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) have emerged as a recent and promising option especially in cancer therapy. This is mainly due to their unique properties, which render them extremely versatile through the incorporation of several functional groups and targeting molecules at the same time, while their natural shape allows them to selectively penetrate across biological barriers in a non-invasive way. In this expert review we aim to evaluate whether this innovative material, once chemically-modified with suitable functionalizations, can be considered as a valuable system in comparison to the already existing nanodevices. This will include the estimation of the most recent advances in the field of nanotechnology, together with a cautious evaluation of potential risks and hazards associated with the extensive use of this fascinating, but still unknown, nanomaterial.


carbon nanotubes drug delivery systems functionalization nanotechnology toxicity 



amphotericin B




boron capture neutron therapy


bovine serum albumin


carbon nanotubes


drug delivery systems


deoxyribonucleic acid








enhanced permeability and retention effect


folic acid


functionalized carbon nanotubes


Food and Drug Administration (USA)


human immunodeficiency virus


altretamine or hexamethylmelamine


infrared spectroscopy


mononuclear phagocyte system




multi-walled carbon nanotubes






nuclear magnetic resonance




pristine carbon nanotubes


polyethylene glycol




radial breathing mode


ribonucleic acid


sodium dodecyl sulfate


sexually transmitted infections


single-walled carbon nanotubes


transmission electron microscopy


ultraviolet spectroscopy


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of ScienceNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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