Structural profiling and biological performance of phospholipid-hyaluronan functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes

Ram Dvash, Artium Khatchatouriants, Leonardo J. Solmesky, Peter P. Wibroe, Miguel Weil, S. Moein Moghimi, Dan Peer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In spite of significant insolubility and toxicity, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) erupt into the biomedical research, and create an increasing interest in the field of nanomedicine. Single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) are highly hy-drophobic and have been shown to be toxic while systemically administrated. Thus, SWCNTs have to be functionalized to render water solubility and biocompatibility. Herein, we introduce a method for functionalizing SWCNT using phospholipids (PL) conjugated to hyaluronan (HA), a hydrophilic glycosaminoglycan, with known receptors on many types of cancer and immune cells. This functionalization allowed for CNT solubi-lization, endowed the particles with stealth properties evading the immune system, and reduced immune and mitochondrial toxicity both in vitro and in vivo. The CNT-PL-HA internalized into macrophages and showed low cytotoxicity. In addition, CNT-PL-HA did not induce an inflammatory response in macrophages as evidenced by the cytokine profiling and the use of image-based high-content analysis approach in contrast to non-modified CNTs. In addition, systemic administration of CNT-PL-HA into healthy C57BL/6 mice did not alter the total number of leukocytes nor increased liver enzyme release as opposed to CNTs. Taken together, these results suggest an immune protective mechanism by the PL-HA coating that could provide future therapeutic benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-305
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Cytotoxicity
  • High-content analysis
  • Hyaluronan
  • Immune response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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