Nanotubes Show Drug Delivery Potential

February 15, 2007
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

London, UK (Feb. 1)?Researchers at the University of London?s School of Pharmacy have chemically modified carbon nanotubes to enable them to enter human cancer cells.

London, UK (Feb. 1)-Researchers at the University of London’s (www.lon.ac.uk) School of Pharmacy have chemically modified carbon nanotubes to enable them to enter human cancer cells. Crossing biological barriers is the key step to using nanotubes as drug delivery mechanisms.

The nanotubes were modified by various functional groups and incubated with live cells, including mammalian, bacterial, and fungal cells. The study showed that the various types of nanotubes showed “a capacity for cellular uptake and cross-intracellular movement without causing cell death,” according to a university release.

Kostas Kostraelos, deputy head of the Centre for Drug Delivery Research, led the research team. He explains that the nanotubes moved through the cells either as individual nanotubes or as small bundles, acting as “nanoneedles” into the plasma membrane without damaging or killing the cell.

The team plans to study the behavior of the nanotubes with various cell types and conduct toxicity studies.