Carbon Nanotubes - Behaviour

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are taken up into the body dependent on the administration route and their composition (single-walled, multi-walled, modified) and can later be found in different organs and cell types. However, it is not possible to make a general statement on the behaviour of carbon nanotubes once within the body due to numerous differences of used CNTs, various applications and analytical methods.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be internalised through different mechanisms by cells. With the exception of extremely long and stiff carbon nanotubes, internalised CNTs seem to have no significant impact on the cells.

To date, only little is known about the uptake of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) from the blood into the brain across the so-called blood-brain barrier (cross-cutting - nanoparticles at the blood-brain barrier).

Although they consist only of a carbon skeleton, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have a plurality of different structures: single-walled and multi-walled tubes, different lengths, and surface coatings. These variations make it difficult to directly compare the environmental behaviour of carbon nanotubes. They also are often not present as single tube, but are aggregated to bundles. Therefore it is difficult to generalise about the environmental fate of this great diversity of CNTs.