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Carbon Nanotubes For Biological And Biomedical Applications

Wenrong Yang, P. Thordarson, J. Gooding, S. Ringer, F. Braet
Published 2007 · Materials Science

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Ever since the discovery of carbon nanotubes, researchers have been exploring their potential in biological and biomedical applications. The recent expansion and availability of chemical modification and bio-functionalization methods have made it possible to generate a new class of bioactive carbon nanotubes which are conjugated with proteins, carbohydrates, or nucleic acids. The modification of a carbon nanotube on a molecular level using biological molecules is essentially an example of the 'bottom-up' fabrication principle of bionanotechnology. The availability of these biomodified carbon nanotube constructs opens up an entire new and exciting research direction in the field of chemical biology, finally aiming to target and to alter the cell's behaviour at the subcellular or molecular level. This review covers the latest advances of bio-functionalized carbon nanotubes with an emphasis on the development of functional biological nano-interfaces. Topics that are discussed herewith include methods for biomodification of carbon nanotubes, the development of hybrid systems of carbon nanotubes and biomolecules for bioelectronics, and carbon nanotubes as transporters for a specific delivery of peptides and/or genetic material to cells. All of these current research topics aim at translating these biotechnology modified nanotubes into potential novel therapeutic approaches.
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