Authors: L. Lacerda, M. Prato, A. Bianco, K. Kostarelos
Affilation: The School of Pharmacy, University of London, United Kingdom
Pages: 509 - 511
Keywords: carbon nanotubes, in vivo, excretion
Carbon nanotube (CNT) development for biomedical applications is in the nascent stages, however is thought to lead to novel types of diagnostic, therapeutic and regenerative nanomedicines. The construction of CNT-based delivery systems able to traffick intracellularly and deliver drug molecules including nucleic acids requires engineering such nanotube features as the efficiency in delivering the therapeutic molecules at the target sites and cellular compartments. However, is imperative to determine critical in vivo parameters, namely their toxicological and pharmacological profiles, before any clinical application of CNT is contemplated. In this communication we will be discussing CNT in vivo parameters such tissue distribution, body clearance and toxicity. Therapeutically-relevant doses of serum protein-coated purified CNT (pCNT) and functionalised CNT (f-CNT) were administered intravenously in rodent species. Striking differences were found between the liver and lung tissues of animals injected with nanotubes. pCNT exhibited significant accumulation in both tissues 24 h post-administration. f-CNT circulated in systemic blood circulation for 5 min, accumulated in the renal cortex and rapidly trespassed the glomerular filtering system excreted in urine in the absence of any tissue accumulation or damage. The biocompatibility and biodistribution of CNT appears to be dramatically dependent on the surface functionalisation of these nanostructures, making f-CNT viable material for a variety of biomedical applications.