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Keywords:

  • carbon nanotubes;
  • cationic dendrons;
  • siRNA;
  • RNA delivery;
  • gene therapy

Abstract

A series of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) conjugates is described, functionalized with different dendrons bearing positive charges at their termini (i.e. ammonium or guanidinium groups). The dendrimeric units are anchored to the nanotube scaffolds using two orthogonal synthetic approaches, amidation and click reactions. The final nanohybrids are characterized by complementary analytical techniques, while their ability to interact with siRNA is investigated by means of agarose gel electrophoresis. The demonstration of the cell uptake capacity, the low cytotoxicity, and the ability of these cationic conjugates to silence cytotoxic genes suggests them to be promising carriers for genetic material.