Functionalization of carbon nanotubes and its application in nanomedicine: A review

Document Type : Review Paper


1 Department of Chemistry, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Young Researchers and Elite Club, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


This review focuses on the latest developments in applications of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in medicine. A brief history of CNTs and a general introduction to the field are presented.
Then, surface modification of CNTs that makes them ideal for use in medical applications is highlighted. Examples of common applications, including cell penetration, drug delivery, gene delivery and imaging, are given. At the same time, there are concerns about their possible adverse effects on human health, since there is evidence that exposure to CNTs induces toxic effects in experimental models. However, CNTs are not a single substance but a growing family of different materials possibly eliciting different biological responses. As a consequence, the hazards associated with the exposure of humans to the different forms of CNTs may be different. Understanding the structure–toxicity relationships would help towards the assessment of the risk related to these materials. Finally, toxicity of CNTs, are discussed. This review article overviews the most recent applications of CNTs in Nanomedicine, covering the period from 1991 to early 2015.


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