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Tailored carbon nanotubes for tissue engineering applications

Authors

  • Jithesh V. Veetil,

    1. Biomedical Engineering Program, College of Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
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  • Kaiming Ye

    Corresponding author
    1. Biomedical Engineering Program, College of Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
    • Biomedical Engineering Program, College of Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

A decade of aggressive researches on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has paved way for extending these unique nanomaterials into a wide range of applications. In the relatively new arena of nanobiotechnology, a vast majority of applications are based on CNTs, ranging from miniaturized biosensors to organ regeneration. Nevertheless, the complexity of biological systems poses a significant challenge in developing CNT-based tissue engineering applications. This review focuses on the recent developments of CNT-based tissue engineering, where the interaction between living cells/tissues and the nanotubes have been transformed into a variety of novel techniques. This integration has already resulted in a revaluation of tissue engineering and organ regeneration techniques. Some of the new treatments that were not possible previously become reachable now. Because of the advent of surface chemistry, the CNT's biocompatibility has been significantly improved, making it possible to serve as tissue scaffolding materials to enhance the organ regeneration. The superior mechanic strength and chemical inert also makes it ideal for blood compatible applications, especially for cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. The applications of CNTs in these cardiovascular surgeries led to a remarkable improvement in mechanical strength of implanted catheters and reduced thrombogenecity after surgery. Moreover, the functionalized CNTs have been extensively explored for in vivo targeted drug or gene delivery, which could potentially improve the efficiency of many cancer treatments. However, just like other nanomaterials, the cytotoxicity of CNTs has not been well established. Hence, more extensive cytotoxic studies are warranted while converting the hydrophobic CNTs into biocompatible nanomaterials. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2009

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