Preparation of water soluble carbon nanotubes and assessment of their biological activity in embryonic zebrafish

Int J Biomed Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2013 Jan 1;3(1-2):38-51. doi: 10.1504/IJBNN.2013.054514.


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are currently one of the most important classes of nanomaterials with unique properties sparking off numerous applications in many fields, including electronics, material science and medicine. However, applications of CNTs in medicine and other biological fields are hampered by their insolubility in aqueous media and concerns regarding toxicity. In this study, seven types of CNTs, including two single-walled, one double-walled, and four multi-walled, were evaluated for possible toxicological effects. Soluble CNTs were prepared by treatment with a mixture of acids (D2SO4 and DNO3), washed with Milli-Q water and oven dried. Transmission electron microscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis, and other techniques were used to characterize the prepared CNTs. CNT toxicity was assessed using the embryonic zebrafish. Results showed that none of the CNTs studied caused significant adverse developmental effects. These results support the potential safe use of CNTs as components of indwelling medical devices and drug delivery tools.

Keywords: Biomedical applications; Carbon nanotubes; Deutrated acids; Solubility; Teratogenic endpoints; Zebrafish; nanotoxicity.