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  Journal of Nanoscience Letters. Volume 1, Issue 3 (2011) pp. 166-171
  Review Article
Carbon nanotubes and neurons: biocompatibility concerns
  Giuseppe Bardi  
Center for Nanotechnology Innovation, IIT@NEST Italian Institute of Technology, Piazza San Silvestro 12, 56126 Pisa, Italy
  Among the several organic and inorganic nano-structures that material scientists have produced, aiming at potential application to medicine, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been considered for some of their features. CNTs are allotropic forms of carbon with a cylindrical organization demonstrating unique electrical and thermal conduction properties, extraordinary strength and surfaces that can be independently functionalized. Before developing new technologies for medicine, CNT potential toxicity and many aspects of CNT interaction with cells and tissues should be profoundly investigated. CNT applications to the nervous system and its possible repairing opportunities are already underway; nevertheless, the biocompatibility of CNTs with the nervous tissue is not so well defined. Many aspects of CNTs could impair the physiology of the cell, including the purity of the administered nanotubes, their diverse chemical modifications and the population of neural cell chosen for the toxicity studies. Another crucial aspect is the source of information: in vitro cell cultures on one side, and in vivo models on the other, have generated further incongruity in some of the data. To establish safety standard procedures and to determine CNT potential harmfulness more data are required.
  Carbon nanotubes; Neurons, biocompatibility; Drug/gene delivery; Neuroinflammation  

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