Reciprocal effects of the chirality and the surface functionalization on the drug delivery permissibility of carbon nanotubes
The drug delivery admissibility of nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and their uncertain interactions with live tissues and organs have sparked ongoing research efforts. To boost the selective diffusivity of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), surface functionalization was adopted in several experimental attempts. Numerous studies had identified polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a bio-compatible surfactant to carbon nanotubes. In this study, a large scale, atomistic molecular dynamic simulation was utilized to disclose the cellular exposure and uptake mechanisms of PEG-functionalized single walled carbon nanotubes (f-SWCNTs) into a lipid bilayer cell membrane. Results showed that with PEGs attached to a SWCNT, the penetration depth and speed can be controlled. Also, the simulations revealed that the adhesion energy between the nanotube and the lipid membrane is affected considerably, in the presence of PEGs, by the chirality of the SWCNTs.