Kinetics of functionalised carbon nanotube distribution in mouse brain after systemic injection: Spatial to ultra-structural analyses

Earlier studies proved the success of using chemically functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes (f-MWNTs) as nanocarriers to the brain. Little insight into the kinetics of brain distribution of f-MWNTs in vivo has been reported. This study employed a wide range of qualitative and quantitative techniques with the aim of shedding the light on f-MWNT’s brain distribution following intravenous injection. γ-Scintigraphy quantified the uptake of studied f-MWNT in the whole brain parenchyma and capillaries while 3D-single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography imaging and autoradiography illustrated spatial distribution within various brain regions. Raman and multiphoton luminescence together with transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of intact f-MWNT in mouse brain, in a label-free manner. The results evidenced the presence of f-MWNT in mice brain parenchyma, in addition to brain endothelium. Such information on rate and extent of regional and cellular brain distribution are needed before further implementation into neurological therapeutics can be made.