Highly biocompatible multi-walled carbon nanotube-chitosan nanoparticle hybrids as protein carriers

Cuiyun Li, Keqin Yang, Yingying Zhang, Hao Tang, Feng Yan, Liang Tan, Qingji Xie, Shouzhuo Yao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon nanotube (CNT)-organic polymer hybrids have important potential applications in the immobilization of therapeutic biomolecules. Recently developed CNT-organic polymer composites require the use of organic solvents for their preparation and have limited polymer functionalization. To address these limitations, multi-walled CNT (MWCNT)-chitosan nanoparticle (CS NP) hybrids have been synthesized in situ by an ionotropic gelation process, which is extremely mild and involves the mixture of two aqueous solutions at room temperature. The MWCNT-CS NP hybrids were characterized by atomic force microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. Under optimal conditions the CS NP can be tethered to the MWCNT surface in high density and with relatively uniform coverage. The MWCNT-CS NP hybrids show good dispersibility and stability in aqueous solutions. In order to evaluate the potential utilization of the hybrids as protein carries the cytotoxicity to HeLa cells and protein immobilization (of bovine serum albumin (BSA), used here as a model) capacity of the hybrids were investigated in detail. The results demonstrate that the MWCNT-CS NP hybrids are biocompatible at concentrations up to 100 μg mL-1for 24 h incubation. The MWCNT-CS NP hybrids improve the BSA immobilization efficiency 0.8 times and simultaneously decrease the cellular toxicity by about 50% compared with carboxylated MWCNT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3070-3077
Number of pages8
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011


  • Cytotoxicity
  • In situ synthesis
  • Ionotropic gelation
  • Multi-walled carbon nanotube-chitosan nanoparticle hybrids
  • Protein immobilization capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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