Binding and condensation of plasmid DNA onto functionalized carbon nanotubes: Towards the construction of new nanotube-based gene delivery vectors

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) constitute a class of nanomaterials that possess characteristics suitable for a variety of possible applications. Their compatibility with aqueous environments has been made possible by the chemical functionalization of their surface, allowing for exploration of their interactions with biological components including mammalian cells. Functionalized CNTs (f-CNTs) are being intensively explored in advanced biotechnological applications ranging from molecular biosensors to cellular growth substrates. We have been exploring the potential of f-CNTs as delivery vehicles of biologically active molecules in view of possible biomedical applications, including vaccination and gene delivery.