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Issue 18, 2012
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Glycoconjugate-functionalized carbon nanotubes in biomedicine

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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are extensively explored in materials science for their mechanical, electronic, optical, and magnetic properties. In the biomedical domain, CNTs are enjoying increasing popularity as building blocks for novel drug delivery systems as well as for bioimaging and biosensing. The recent strategies to functionalize CNTs with bioactive glycoconjugates have resulted in the generation of biocompatible and water-soluble CNTs well suited for highly selective interactions with proteins and living cells. This review covers the latest advances in glycoconjugate-functionalized CNTs with an emphasis on the development of functional biological nano-interfaces. Topics that are discussed herewith include (i) methods for functionalizing CNTs with glycoconjugates such as glycoproteins, glycolipids and glycodendrimers; (ii) understanding of in vivo biodistribution and toxicity of functionalized CNTs; and (iii) their biomedical applications in cell signalling, gene delivery, bioimaging, biosensors and bone tissue engineering constructs. The review ends with a critical discussion of obstacles encountered in the translation of these systems into clinical practice and an outlook into future approaches for glycoconjugate-functionalized CNT synthesis as well as applications emerging on the horizon.

Graphical abstract: Glycoconjugate-functionalized carbon nanotubes in biomedicine

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Dec 2011, accepted on 08 Feb 2012 and first published on 12 Mar 2012

Article type: Application
DOI: 10.1039/C2JM16636D
J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 8748-8758

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    Glycoconjugate-functionalized carbon nanotubes in biomedicine

    N. M. Bandaru and N. H. Voelcker, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 8748
    DOI: 10.1039/C2JM16636D

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