Carbon Nanotubes with High Bone-Tissue Compatibility and Bone-Formation Acceleration Effects



Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been used in various fields as composites with other substances or alone to develop highly functional materials. CNTs hold great interest with respect to biomaterials, particularly those to be positioned in contact with bone such as prostheses for arthroplasty, plates or screws for fracture fixation, drug delivery systems, and scaffolding for bone regeneration. Accordingly, bone-tissue compatibility of CNTs and CNT influence on bone formation are important issues, but the effects of CNTs on bone have not been delineated. Here, it is found that multi-walled CNTs adjoining bone induce little local inflammatory reaction, show high bone-tissue compatibility, permit bone repair, become integrated into new bone, and accelerate bone formation stimulated by recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2). This study provides an initial investigational basis for CNTs in biomaterials that are used adjacent to bone, including uses to promote bone regeneration. These findings should encourage development of clinical treatment modalities involving CNTs.