Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

It All Depends on the Length

21.01.2013
Chemical functionalization of ‘toxic’ long carbon nanotubes reduces their effective length and alleviates asbestos-like pathogenicity

Carbon nanotubes resemble asbestos fibers in their form. Unfortunately, long, pure nanotubes also seem to have asbestos-like pathogenicity.



In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a European research team has now reported that chemical modifications, for example with tri(ethylene glycol), can alleviate this problem if the modification makes their surface more water-friendly and reduces the effective length of the tubes.

Due to their unique physical, chemical, and electronic properties, carbon nanotubes have become one of the most popular nanomaterials. They are used in electronics, for reinforcing plastics, and in biomedicine as nanotransporters to carry drugs into cells. For many of these applications, particularly in the area of biology, it is necessary to chemically alter the tubes by attaching molecules to their surfaces.

However, the industrial production of carbon nanotubes could bring health risks with it. Studies have shown that multi-walled nanotubes that are more than 20 µm long act like asbestos fibers, causing inflammation followed by granulomas—inflammation-induced knotlike tissue growths. This occurs because the macrophages of our immune system cannot absorb and remove the long fibers. Shorter nanotubes and those with certain surface modifications have now been shown to alleviate toxicity.

A team led by Maurizio Prato, Alberto Bianco, and Kostas Kostarelos wanted to determine what role the chemical modifications have in resolving the toxic risk from the tubes. The scientists from University College London (UK), the CNRS in Strasbourg (France), and the University of Trieste (Italy) attached either hydrocarbon chains or tri(ethylene glycol) chains as side-groups on multi-walled carbon nanotubes and compared their effects to those of unmodified tubes. The results show that the unmodified nanotubes and those with hydrocarbon chains lead to asbestos-like inflammation and granulomas in mice.

However, the carbon nanotubes with tri(ethylene glycol) chains do not.
The difference seems to be a question of aggregation/disaggregation that influences the length of the bundles: As shown by images from transmission electron and atomic force microscopies, the effective length of the tubes is reduced during the reaction that introduces the tri(ethylene glycol) chains.

The researchers believe that the modification with the tri(ethylene glycol) chain breaks apart the tubes from each other so that they interact in the body as shorter, much more hydrophilic individual fibers, whereas both the unmodified tubes and those with apolar hydrocarbons on their surfaces interact with tissue as longer bundles of individual nanotubes.

The researchers conclude that only those modifications that lead to a disentangling of the bundles can alleviate the toxicological problems.

About the Author
Alberto Bianco is Research Director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). His research interests focus on the design and development of chemically functionalized carbon nanomaterials for biomedical applications.

Author: Alberto Bianco, CNRS, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Strasbourg (France), mailto:a.bianco@ibmc-cnrs.unistra.fr

Title: Asbestos-like Pathogenicity of Long Carbon Nanotubes Can be Alleviated by Chemical Functionalization

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201207664

Alberto Bianco | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fruit fly studies shed light on adaptability of nerve cells
17.04.2015 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)

nachricht Rare monkey photographed in Congo's newest national park, Ntokou-Pikounda
17.04.2015 | Wildlife Conservation Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Forscher verschieben Moleküle auf Oberflächen: Nur halb so viel Kraft nötig wie theoretisch gedacht

Forscher der Universität Regensburg haben ein interessantes Phänomen aus der Welt der Quantenphysik entdeckt: Um ein Kohlenmonoxidmolekül auf einer Oberfläche seitlich zu verschieben, ist nur halb so viel Kraft erforderlich, wie theoretisch zu erwarten wäre.

Ein Team um Prof. Dr. Franz J. Gießibl vom Institut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik machte diese Beobachtung bei Versuchen mit einem...

Im Focus: Autoklavierbare LEDs für die Medizintechnik

Das neue Keramik-SMD-Design der Solidur™ TO LED ermöglicht komplexe Chipkonfigurationen in einem einzigen LED-Modul.

SCHOTT stellte vor kurzem seine neue autoklavierbare und hochbeständige Solidur™ LED-Produktlinie für Geräte und Instrumente der Medizin- und Dentaltechnik...

Im Focus: Astronomers reveal supermassive black hole's intense magnetic field

Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy

Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a...

Im Focus: Eine „Flipper-Maschine“ für Atome und Photonen

Physiker vom MPQ, Caltech und ICFO haben ein neues Konzept entwickelt, durch Kombination von Nano-Photonik mit ultrakalten Atomen Quanten-Vielteilchensysteme zu simulieren und neue Materiezustände zu erzeugen.

Ultrakalte Atome in optischen Gittern, die durch die kreuzweise Überlagerung von Laserstrahlen entstehen, haben sich bereits als die meist versprechenden...

Im Focus: A “pin ball machine” for atoms and photons

A team of physicists from MPQ, Caltech, and ICFO proposes the combination of nano-photonics with ultracold atoms for simulating quantum many-body systems and creating new states of matter.

Ultracold atoms in the so-called optical lattices, that are generated by crosswise superposition of laser beams, have been proven to be one of the most...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Das Kaba Ideen Netzwerk geht in die nächste Runde

17.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

VDI-Expertenforum: Effiziente Softwareentwicklung in der Medizintechnik

17.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Impflücken schließen. Die Europäische Impfwoche beginnt

17.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Das Kaba Ideen Netzwerk geht in die nächste Runde

17.04.2015 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

ERP-Softwarehersteller HS zeigt mit neuer Webpräsenz Gesicht

17.04.2015 | Unternehmensmeldung

Schnelle und unkomplizierte Hilfe von HEIDENHAIN im Servicefall

17.04.2015 | Unternehmensmeldung