nctionalized carbon nanotubes: biomedical applications Review (2236) Total Article Views Authors: Vardharajula S, Ali SZ, Tiwari PM, Ero lu E, Vig K, Dennis VA, Singh SR Published Date October 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 5361 - 5374 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S35832 Received: 11 July 2012 Accepted: 22 August 2012 Published: 09 October 2012 Sandhya Vardharajula,1 Sk Z Ali,2 Pooja M Tiwari,1 Erdal Ero lu,1 Komal Vig,1 Vida A Dennis,1 Shree R Singh1 1Center for NanoBiotechnology and Life Sciences Research, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL, USA; 2Department of Microbiology, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India Abstract: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are emerging as novel nanomaterials for various biomedical applications. CNTs can be used to deliver a variety of therapeutic agents, including biomolecules, to the target disease sites. In addition, their unparalleled optical and electrical properties make them excellent candidates for bioimaging and other biomedical applications. However, the high cytotoxicity of CNTs limits their use in humans and many biological systems. The biocompatibility and low cytotoxicity of CNTs are attributed to size, dose, duration, testing systems, and surface functionalization. The functionalization of CNTs improves their solubility and biocompatibility and alters their cellular interaction pathways, resulting in much-reduced cytotoxic effects. Functionalized CNTs are promising novel materials for a variety of biomedical applications. These potential applications are particularly enhanced by their ability to penetrate biological membranes with relatively low cytotoxicity. This review is directed towards the overview of CNTs and their functionalization for biomedical applications with minimal cytotoxicity.