Nano Research

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 393–404 | Cite as

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

  • Jeffrey A. Fagan
  • Nancy J. Lin
  • Rolf Zeisler
  • Angela R. Hight Walker
Research Article


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.


Nanotube single-wall nanotube (SWNT) single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) gamma irradiation sterilization dispersion 


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey A. Fagan
    • 1
  • Nancy J. Lin
    • 1
  • Rolf Zeisler
    • 2
  • Angela R. Hight Walker
    • 3
  1. 1.Polymers DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  2. 2.Analytical Chemistry DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  3. 3.Optical Technology DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA

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