Much research has been carried out in recent years involving carbon nanotubes use in fighting cancer. The use has been through hyperthermia in which the carbon nanotubes are heated to between 41-45°C. This technique is demonstarted to literally ‘burn away’ cancer cells.
The current problem with this technique is that the MWCNTs are good at sticking to eachother. This has limited in vivo use of the MWCNTs as this adhesion between the MWCNTs means that they are not solutble in solution and form clumps.
A research team at Wake Forest Universiy have combated this by encasing the MWCNTs in DNA. In a recent study they have shown that this encasment of the MWCNTs prevents them from sticking to one another and vastly increases their solubility. More than this the study showed that the DNA-encassed nanotubes had increased heat production upon irradiation.
This increased heat production was stipulated to have been a consequence of the better dispersion of the MWCNTs due to the DNA-encassing and probably not due to the DNA itself.
This technique of encasment was previously shown to work for single walled carbon nanotubules. What wasnt known was whether this technique applied to the WMCNTs would reduce their ablative properties. It seems that this was not the case and the results are promising. Allowing for further in vivo studies into MWCNTs use in cancer therapy.
Paper: ACS NANO