Carbon nanotubes for stabilization of nanostructured lipid particles†
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are increasingly studied for innovative biotechnological applications particularly where they are combined with essential biological materials like lipids. Lipids have been used earlier for enhancing the dispersibility of CNTs in aqueous solutions. Here we report a novel application of CNTs for stabilization of internally self-assembled nanostructured lipid particles of 2–5 μm size. Single-walled (pristine) as well as –OH and –COOH functionalized multi-walled CNTs were employed to produce nanostructured emulsions which stayed stable for months and could be re-dispersed after complete dehydration. Concentrations of CNTs employed for stabilization were very low; moreover CNTs were well-decorated with lipid molecules. These features contribute towards reducing their toxicity and improving biocompatibility for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Our approach paves the way for future development of combination therapies employing both CNTs and nanostructured lipid self-assembly together as carriers of different drugs.