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Thermal ablation therapeutics based on CNx multi-walled nanotubes

Authors Suzy V Torti, Fiona Byrne, Orla Whelan, Nicole Levi, Burak Ucer

Published 15 January 2008 Volume 2007:2(4) Pages 707—714

Suzy V Torti1, Fiona Byrne2, Orla Whelan2, Nicole Levi2, Burak Ucer2, Michael Schmid2, Frank M Torti4, Steven Akman3, Jiwen Liu2, Pulickel M Ajayan5, Omkaram Nalamasu5, David L Carroll2

1Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC, USA; 2Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, Department of Physics, Wake Forest University, Winston- Salem, NC, USA; 3Cancer Biology; and the 4Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC, USA; 5Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA

Abstract: We demonstrate that nitrogen doped, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNx-MWNT) result in photo-ablative destruction of kidney cancer cells when excited by near infrared (NIR) irradiation. Further, we show that effective heat transduction and cellular cytotoxicity depends on nanotube length: effective NIR coupling occurs at nanotube lengths that exceed half the wavelength of the stimulating radiation, as predicted in classical antenna theory. We also demonstrate that this radiation heats the nanotubes through induction processes, resulting in significant heat transfer to surrounding media and cell killing at extraordinarily small radiation doses. This cell death was attributed directly to photothermal effect generated within the culture, since neither the infrared irradiation itself nor the CNx-MWNT were toxic to the cells.

Keywords: nitrogen doped, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, photothermal effect, photoablat

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