Whereas several biomedical applications of carbon nanotubes have been proposed, the use of boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) in this field has been largely unexplored despite their unique and potentially useful properties. Our group has recently initiated an experimental program aimed at the exploration of the interactions between BNNTs and living cells. In the present paper, we report on the magnetic properties of BNNTs containing Fe catalysts which confirm the feasibility for their use as nanovectors for targeted drug delivery. The magnetisation curves of BNNTs characterised by the present study are typical of superparamagnetic materials with important parameters, including magnetic permeability and magnetic momentum, derived by employing Langevin theory. In-vitro tests have demonstrated the feasibility for influencing the uptake of BNNTs by living cells by exposure to an external magnetic source. A finite element method analysis devised to predict this effect produced predictive data with close agreement with the experimental observations.
Keywords: Boron nitride nanotubes, magnetism, targeted drug delivery, modelling of uptake kinetics
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