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Bioconjug Chem. 2015 Oct 21;26(10):2025-37. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.5b00257. Epub 2015 Sep 15.

Effects of Polydopamine Functionalization on Boron Nitride Nanotube Dispersion and Cytocompatibility.

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Department of Mining-Metallurgy Engineering and Materials Science & POLYMAT, School of Engineering, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) , 480130 Bilbao, Spain.
Department of Anatomy, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) , Galway, Ireland.
Department of Physics and Energy, and Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI), University of Limerick , Limerick, Ireland.


Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) have unique physical properties, of value in biomedical applications; however, their dispersion and functionalization represent a critical challenge in their successful employment as biomaterials. In the present study, we report a process for the efficient disentanglement of BNNTs via a dual surfactant/polydopamine (PD) process. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) indicated that individual BNNTs become coated with a uniform PD nanocoating, which significantly enhanced dispersion of BNNTs in aqueous solutions. Furthermore, the cytocompatibility of PD-coated BNNTs was assessed in vitro with cultured human osteoblasts (HOBs) at concentrations of 1, 10, and 30 μg/mL and over three time-points (24, 48, and 72 h). In this study it was demonstrated that PD-functionalized BNNTs become individually localized within the cytoplasm by endosomal escape and that concentrations of up to 30 μg/mL of PD-BNNTs were cytocompatible in HOBs cells following 72 h of exposure.

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