Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) based advanced dermal therapeutics: current trends and future potential
The search for effective and non-invasive delivery modules to transport therapeutic molecules across skin has led to the discovery of a number of nanocarriers (viz.: liposomes, ethosomes, dendrimers, etc.) in the last few decades. However, available literature suggests that these delivery modules face several issues including poor stability, low encapsulation efficiency, and scale-up hurdles. Recently, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) emerged as a versatile tool to deliver therapeutics across skin. Superior stability, high loading capacity, well-developed synthesis protocol as well as ease of scale-up are some of the reason for growing interest in CNTs. CNTs have a unique physical architecture and a large surface area with unique surface chemistry that can be tailored for vivid biomedical applications. CNTs have been thus largely engaged in the development of transdermal systems such as tuneable hydrogels, programmable nonporous membranes, electroresponsive skin modalities, protein channel mimetic platforms, reverse iontophoresis, microneedles, and dermal buckypapers. In addition, CNTs were also employed in the development of RNA interference (RNAi) based therapeutics for correcting defective dermal genes. This review expounds the state-of-art synthesis methodologies, skin penetration mechanism, drug liberation profile, loading potential, characterization techniques, and transdermal applications along with a summary on patent/regulatory status and future scope of CNT based skin therapeutics.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles