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Nano Lett. 2012 Nov 14;12(11):5475-80. doi: 10.1021/nl301865c. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Trojan-horse nanotube on-command intracellular drug delivery.

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School of Engineering, Physiology and Biotechnology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.


A major challenge to nanomaterial-based medicine is the ability to release drugs on-command. Here, we describe an innovative drug delivery system based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs), in which compounds can be released inside cells from within the nanotube "on-command" by inductive heating with an external alternating current or pulsed magnetic field. Without inductive heating the drug remains safely inside the CNTs, showing no toxicity in cell viability tests. Similar to the "Trojan-Horse" in function, we demonstrate the delivery of a combination of chemotherapeutic agents with low aqueous solubility, paclitaxel (Taxol), and C6-ceramide, to multidrug resistant pancreatic cancer cells. Nanotube encapsulation permitted the drugs to be used at a 100-fold lower concentration compared to exogenous treatment yet achieve a comparable ~70% cancer kill rate.

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