Carbon nanotubes part I: Preparation of a novel and versatile drug-delivery vehicle

Mahdi Karimi, Navid Solati, Mohammad Amiri, Hamed Mirshekari, Elmira Mohamed, Mahdiar Taheri, Mahshid Hashemkhani, Ahad Saeidi, Mehrdad Asghari Estiar, Parnian Kiani, Amir Ghasemi, Seyed Masoud Moosavi Basri, Amir R. Aref, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: It is 23 years since carbon allotrope known as carbon nanotubes (CNT) was discovered by Iijima, who described them as "rolled graphite sheets inserted into each other". Since then, CNTs have been studied in nanoelectronic devices. However, CNTs also possess the versatility to act as drug- and gene-delivery vehicles.Areas covered: This review covers the synthesis, purification and functionalization of CNTs. Arc discharge, laser ablation and chemical vapor deposition are the principle synthesis methods. Non-covalent functionalization relies on attachment of biomolecules by coating the CNT with surfactants, synthetic polymers and biopolymers. Covalent functionalization often involves the initial introduction of carboxylic acids or amine groups, diazonium addition, 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition or reductive alkylation. The aim is to produce functional groups to attach the active cargo.Expert opinion: In this review, the feasibility of CNT being used as a drug-delivery vehicle is explored. The molecular composition of CNT is extremely hydrophobic and highly aggregation-prone. Therefore, most of the efforts towards drug delivery has centered on chemical functionalization, which is usually divided in two categories; non-covalent and covalent. The biomedical applications of CNT are growing apace, and new drug-delivery technologies play a major role in these efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1087
Number of pages17
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Addition reaction
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Functional group
  • Functionalization
  • Purification
  • Synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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