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Carbon Nanotubes

Volume 625 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 55-65

Date:

Carbon Nanotube Uptake and Toxicity in the Brain

  • Leying ZhangAffiliated withDivision of Neurosurgery, City of Hope National Cancer Center
  • , Darya AlizadehAffiliated withDivision of Neurosurgery, City of Hope National Cancer Center
  • , Behnam BadieAffiliated withDivision of Neurosurgery, City of Hope National Cancer Center

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Abstract

The development of novel drug delivery systems is essential for the improvement of therapeutics for most human diseases. Currently used cellular delivery systems, such as viral vectors, liposomes, cationic lipids, and polymers, may have limited clinical efficacy because of safety issues, low gene transfer efficiency, or cytotoxicity. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have garnered much interest as possible biological vectors after the recent discovery of their capacity to penetrate cells. Inspite of the prominence of CNT studies in the nanotechnology literature, exploration of their application to central nervous system (CNS) therapeutics is at a very early stage. Before CNTs are used for treatment of brain and spinal cord disorders, however, several issues such as their CNS penetration and toxicity need to be addressed. Here, we discuss methods by which CNT uptake and toxicity can be assessed in animal models.

Key words

Central nervous system Macrophage Microglia Blood-brain barrier Flow cytometry