5 years ago

Functionalised carbon nanotubes: From intracellular uptake and cell-related toxicity to systemic brain delivery

Functionalised carbon nanotubes: From intracellular uptake and cell-related toxicity to systemic brain delivery
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have long been regarded as promising carriers in biomedicine. Due to their high surface area and unique needle-like structure, CNTs are uniquely equipped to carry therapeutic molecules across biological membranes and, therefore, have been widely researched for use in theranostic applications. The attractive properties of the CNTs entice also their use in the brain environment. Cutting edge brain-specific therapies, capable of circumventing the physical and biochemical blockage of the blood-brain barrier, could be a precious tool to tackle brain disorders. With an increasing number of applications and expanding production, the effects of direct and indirect exposure to CNTs on cellular and molecular levels and more globally the general health, must be carefully assessed and limited. In this chapter, we review the most recent trends on the development and application of CNT-based nanotechnologies, with a particular focus on the carrier properties, cell internalisation and processing, and mechanisms involved in cell toxicity. Novel approaches for CNT-based systemic therapeutic brain delivery following intravenous administration are also reviewed. Moreover, we highlight fundamental questions that should be addressed in future research involving CNTs, aiming at achieving its safe introduction into the clinics.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0168365916308513

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