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Nanomedicine. 2009 Mar;5(1):96-104. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2008.06.008. Epub 2008 Aug 8.

Pluronic-coated carbon nanotubes do not induce degeneration of cortical neurons in vivo and in vitro.

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Institute of Neurosciences, National Research Council, Pisa, Italy.


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are nanodevices with important potential applications in biomedicine such as drug and gene delivery. Brain diseases with no current therapy could be candidates for CNT-based therapies. Little is known about toxicity of CNTs and of their dispersion factors in the brain. Here we show that multiwall CNTs (MWCNTs) coated with Pluronic F127 (PF127) surfactant can be injected in the mouse cerebral cortex without causing degeneration of the neurons surrounding the site of injection. We also show that, contrary to previous reports on lack of PF127 toxicity on cultured cell lines, concentrations of PF127 as low as 0.01% can induce apoptosis of mouse primary cortical neurons in vitro within 24 hours. However, the presence of MWCNTs can avoid PF127-induced apoptosis. These results suggest that PF127-coated MWCNTs do not induce apoptosis of cortical neurons. Moreover, the presence of MWCNTs can reduce PF127 toxicity.

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