Nanotechnology concerns the science of very small particles and deals with both the fundamental aspects of understanding the properties of such nanoparticles and with developing technological applications of nanoparticles. Biomedical and biotechnological applications of nanoparticles have been of special recent research and development interest, with potential applications that include use of nanoparticles as drug (or DNA) delivery vehicles, and as components in medical diagnostic kits, biosensors and membranes for bioseparations. Spherical nanoparticles are typically used for such applications, but this only reflects the fact that spheres are easier to make than nanoparticles having other shapes. Micro and nanotubes - structures that resemble tiny drinking straws - are alternatives and may offer advantages over spherical nanoparticles for some applications. This article discusses different approaches for making micro and nanotubes and reviews the current status of efforts to develop biomedical and biotechnological applications of these tubular structures.
Keywords: nanotubes, template synthesis, fullerene carbon nanotubes, lipid microtubes, peptide nanotubes, enanioseparations, biotechnology
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