Carbon nanotubes from synthesis toin vivobiomedical applications

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Owing to their unique and interesting properties, extensive research round the globe has been carried out on carbon nanotubes and carbon nanotubes based systems to investigate their practical usefulness in biomedical applications. The results from these studies demonstrate a great promise in their use in targeted drug delivery systems, diagnostic techniques and in bio-analytical applications. Although, carbon nanotubes possess quite interesting properties, which make them potential candidates in the biomedical science, but they also have some inherent properties which arise great concern regarding their biosafety. In this comprehensive review, we have discussed different aspects of carbon nanotubes and carbon nanotube based systems related to biomedical applications. In the beginning, a short historical account of these tiny yet powerful particles is given followed by discussion regarding their types, properties, methods of synthesis, large scale production method, purification techniques and characterization aspects of carbon nanotubes. In the second part of the review, the functionalization of carbon nanotubes is reviewed in detail, which is not only important to make them biocompatible and stable in biological systems but also render them a great property of loading various biomolecules, diagnostic and therapeutic moieties resulting in diversified applications. In the final part of the review, emphasis is given on the pharmacokinetic aspects of carbon nanotubes including administration routes, absorption mechanisms, distribution and elimination of carbon nanotubes based systems. Lastly, a comprehensive account about the potential biomedical applications has been given followed by insights into the future.Graphical abstract

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