Carbon nanotubes part II: A remarkable carrier for drug and gene delivery

Mahdi Karimi, Navid Solati, Amir Ghasemi, Mehrdad Asghari Estiar, Mahshid Hashemkhani, Parnian Kiani, Elmira Mohamed, Ahad Saeidi, Mahdiar Taheri, Pinar Avci, Amir R. Aref, Mohammad Amiri, Fazel Baniasadi, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have recently been studied as novel and versatile drug and gene delivery vehicles. When CNT are suitably functionalized, they can interact with various cell types and are taken up by endocytosis.Areas covered: Anti-cancer drugs cisplatin and doxorubicin have been delivered by CNT, as well as methotrexate, taxol and gemcitabine. The delivery of the antifungal compound amphotericin B and the oral administration of erythropoietin have both been assisted using CNT. Frequently, targeting moieties such as folic acid, epidermal growth factor or various antibodies are attached to the CNT-drug nanovehicle. Different kinds of functionalization (e.g., polycations) have been used to allow CNT to act as gene delivery vectors. Plasmid DNA, small interfering RNA and micro-RNA have all been delivered by CNT vehicles. Significant concerns are raised about the nanotoxicology of the CNT and their potentially damaging effects on the environment.Expert opinion: CNT-mediated drug delivery has been studied for over a decade, and both in vitro and in vivo studies have been reported. The future success of CNTs as vectors in vivo and in clinical application will depend on achievement of efficacious therapy with minimal adverse effects and avoidance of possible toxic and environmentally damaging effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1105
Number of pages17
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomolecule delivery
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Gene delivery
  • Toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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