Investigation of carboxylated multi-walled carbon nanotube cytotoxicity in vitro : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Physiology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Carbon nanotubes have been idealised as carrier vehicles for cell targeted drug and gene delivery. The physiochemical properties of the carbon nanotube also promote its function as a „thermal antennae‟ for non-invasive cancer destruction. Covalent modification of carbon nanotubes is a result of acidic purification resulting in carboxylated carbon nanotubes. Additionally this covalent modification allows for the attachment of biological moieties for cell targeting. Conversely, carboxylated carbon nanotubes are suggested to be cytotoxic to mammalian cells. The current study investigates the potential cytotoxicity of short, carboxylated, multi-walled carbon nanotubes in vitro, in a primary fibroblast cell culture model. Cytotoxicity is assessed with vital staining using propidium iodide, and secondly with a lactate dehydrogenase colorimetric assay. Results indicate that there is a dose dependent cytotoxic relationship between the carboxylated multi-walled carbon nanotubes tested and the fibroblast cell culture model.