Based on their physicochemical properties that allow efficient functionalization with biomolecules and cellular membrane translocation, as well as on their applications in Raman and near-infrared fluorescence imaging, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been proposed as viable candidates for developing therapeutic platforms that ensure targeting of tumor cells without affecting healthy cells. This article reviews the research on toxicological effects of CNTs on host cells, as well as their pharmacological profiles on cancer cells. The potential impact of this approach is discussed along with some potential pitfalls that will need to be overcome when therapeutic implementation CNTs are considered.
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Conflict of interest: The authors declare no competing financial interest.