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Topics in Current Chemistry

, 378:15 | Cite as

Carbon Nanotubes in Biomedicine

  • Viviana Negri
  • Jesús Pacheco-Torres
  • Daniel Calle
  • Pilar López-LarrubiaEmail author
Review
  • 5 Downloads
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Surface-modified Nanobiomaterials for Electrochemical and Biomedicine Applications

Abstract

Nowadays, biomaterials have become a crucial element in numerous biomedical, preclinical, and clinical applications. The use of nanoparticles entails a great potential in these fields mainly because of the high ratio of surface atoms that modify the physicochemical properties and increases the chemical reactivity. Among them, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have emerged as a powerful tool to improve biomedical approaches in the management of numerous diseases. CNTs have an excellent ability to penetrate cell membranes, and the sp2 hybridization of all carbons enables their functionalization with almost every biomolecule or compound, allowing them to target cells and deliver drugs under the appropriate environmental stimuli. Besides, in the new promising field of artificial biomaterial generation, nanotubes are studied as the load in nanocomposite materials, improving their mechanical and electrical properties, or even for direct use as scaffolds in body tissue manufacturing. Nevertheless, despite their beneficial contributions, some major concerns need to be solved to boost the clinical development of CNTs, including poor solubility in water, low biodegradability and dispersivity, and toxicity problems associated with CNTs’ interaction with biomolecules in tissues and organs, including the possible effects in the proteome and genome. This review performs a wide literature analysis to present the main and latest advances in the optimal design and characterization of carbon nanotubes with biomedical applications, and their capacities in different areas of preclinical research.

Keywords

Carbon nanotubes Biomedical research Preclinical applications Cancer Neurodegeneration Imaging Theranostic compounds Tissue engineering 

Abbreviations

AFM

Atomic force microscopy

AGP

Angiopep-2

BBB

Blood–brain barrier

BLI

Bioluminescence imaging

BRB

Berberine

CA(s)

Contrast agent(s)

CNT(s)

Carbon nanotube(s)

DMF

Dimethylformamide

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

DOX

Doxorubicin

EM

Electron microscopy

FTIR

Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy

Gd

Gadolinium

GNTs

Gado-nanotubes

HA

Hyaluronic acid

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging

MWCNT(s)

Multi-walled carbon nanotube(s)

NGF

Nerve growth factor

NIR

Near-infrared radiation

NP(s)

Nanoparticle(s)

PEG

Polyethylene glycol

PET

Positron emission tomography

PLK1

Polo-like kinase 1

PTT

Photothermal therapy

RNA

Ribonucleic acid

SC

Stem cells

SDBS

Sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate

SEM

Scanning electron microscopy

siRNA

Small interfering ribonucleic acid

SPECT

Single-photon emission computed tomography

STM

Scanning tunneling microscopy

SWCNT(s)

Single-walled carbon nanotube(s)

TEM

Transmission electron microscopy

XPS

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by grants from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitivity (SAF2017-83043-R), and by the Program MULTITARGET&VIEW-CM from Community of Madrid, Spain (S2017/BMD-3688), involving contributions from FEDER and FSE funds.

Authors Contributions

Pilar López-Larrubia had the idea for the article. Viviana Negri, Jesús Pacheco-Torres, Daniel Calle, and Pilar Lopez-Larrubia performed the literature search and data analysis, drafted and critically revised the work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biotecnología y Farmacia, Facultad de Ciencias BiomédicasUniversidad Europea de MadridVillaviciosa de OdónSpain
  2. 2.Division of Cancer Imaging Research, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological ScienceThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Imagen MédicaHospital Universitario Gregorio MarañónMadridSpain
  4. 4.Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas “Alberto Sols”, CSIC-UAMMadridSpain

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