Recently, inorganic nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs

Recently, inorganic nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), nanowires, and metal or semiconductor nanoparticles, have attracted much attention due to their remarkable physical and chemical properties and, especially, the tunability

of these properties provided by the system size. Unique functionality makes these nanoscale entities very attractive for applications in a wide range of biological and chemical problems, and, specifically, in the development of drug carrying platforms [3]. So far, the majority of preclinical studies of nanomaterial-based DDS have focused Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical on oncology, thus making cancer the primary FTY720 cell line candidate for future clinical trials of these DDS. For example, gold nanoparticles have been extensively used to selectively precipitate in cancer cells and subsequently destroy them through laser light absorption Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical and generation of large intracellular heat loads [4]. Among all the novel DDSs, however, CNTs appear to be one of the most promising materials. This view is rationalized by many potential advantages of functionalized CNTs over other types of DDS developed for cancer therapy [5]. First of all, CNTs feature high surface-to-volume

and length-to-diameter ratios, allowing large drug loads while still being small enough to penetrate cellular walls. Second, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical CNT functionalization with various binding agents provides virtually unlimited tunability of binding specificity. Several research groups have already demonstrated that CNTs

coated with lipid conjugates [6], copolymers, and surfactants [7] can deliver various molecular loads through cellular membranes in vivo and in vitro with high targeting specificity and low cytotoxicity [8, 9]. Third, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical the unique optical properties of CNTs permit efficient electromagnetic stimulation and highly sensitive detection of CNT-based DDS using various imaging modalities. For example, strong light absorption in the cell transparency region (0.7–1.1μm) allows CNTs to serve as a local heat source inside a target cell [10] or to be remotely triggered to release some of its drug-load with high spatial, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical temporal, and chemical selectivity [11, 12]. Driven by the intense global research to take advantage of the unique properties of CNTs, the use of CNTs in medicine has started to shift from proof-of-principle experiments to preclinical trials in a variety of therapeutic applications. Nevertheless, we still need to develop a better understanding of CNT functionalities Parvulin in order to fully exploit all the potential benefits of CNTs in drug delivery and diagnostics and to assess the risks and benefits of these DDS. One of the prominent ways to improve delivery specificity, DDS stability, and cell penetration reliability is functionalization of the nanotube surface with single-stranded DNA. Such CNT-DNA hybrids are widely used for biological sensing [13–15], as well as for separating CNTs based on dimensions and conductivity [16, 17].

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