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Biomaterials. 2007 Jan;28(2):344-53. Epub 2006 Aug 28.

Carbon nanotube applications for tissue engineering.

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  • 1Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


As the field of tissue engineering advances, new tools for better monitoring and evaluating of engineered tissues along with new biomaterials to direct tissue growth are needed. Carbon nanotubes may be an important tissue engineering material for improved tracking of cells, sensing of microenvironments, delivering of transfection agents, and scaffolding for incorporating with the host's body. Using carbon nanotubes for optical, magnetic resonance and radiotracer contrast agents would provide better means of evaluating tissue formation. In addition, monitoring and altering intra and intercellular processes would be useful for design of better engineered tissues. Carbon nanotubes can also be incorporated into scaffolds providing structural reinforcement as well as imparting novel properties such as electrical conductivity into the scaffolds may aid in directing cell growth. Potential cytotoxic effects associated with carbon nanotubes may be mitigated by chemically functionalizing the surface. Overall, carbon nanotubes may play an integral role as unique biomaterial for creating and monitoring engineered tissue.

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