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January 31st, 2007
The uptake of functionalized carbon nanotubes by living cells does not depend on cell type or on the nature of the chemical moieties grafted onto the tubes, according to a new study (Nat. Nanotechnol., DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2006.209). The research also provides evidence that nanotubes act like nanoneedles when they penetrate cell membranes.
TUBE TECH Covalently attached groups make carbon nanotubes water-soluble (ammonium) and trackable inside cells (fluorescein isothiocyanate).
The work, which could help to establish the potential for carbon nanotubes for biomedical applications, was carried out by team leader Kostas Kostarelos, deputy head of the Centre for Drug Delivery Research at the University of London's School of Pharmacy; Alberto Bianco at the CNRS Laboratory of Immunology & Therapeutic Chemistry at Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France; Maurizio Prato of the University of Trieste, in Italy; and their coworkers.
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