While in the latest years carbon nanotubes have found wide exploitation in nanomedicine, to date biomedical applications of boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are almost totally unexplored. BNNTs are structural analogues of carbon nanotubes: alternating B and N atoms entirely substitute for C atoms in a graphitic-like sheet, with almost no change in atomic spacing. Despite this structural similarity, BNNTs present superior chemical and physical properties that render them more amenable for a plenty of applications in the biomedical field. In this review, we summarize the major findings of the studies about the interactions between BNNTs and living matter, with special attention on the potential applications to the neuronal system, which range from the treatment of neuronal diseases, to the stimulation of neurons, up to the exploitation of BNNTs as structural reinforcement agents for tissue engineering.
Keywords: Boron nitride nanotubes, nanomedicine, neuronal cells, brain cancer therapy, nanotransducers, Therapeutic Agents, Brain Diseases, carbon nanotubes, Nanotechnology, piezoelectric polymers, boron neutron capture therapy, Cross-section morphology, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), laser heating, laser pyrolyse, plasma jet method, graphite electrodes, BN-packed tungsten rod, cooled copper electrode, plasma-arc method, Excimer laser ablation, BN multi-walled nanotubes, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), R-mannose moieties, laser scanning confocal micros-copy (LSCM), Fluorescence micros-copy, glycodendrimers, human embryonic kidney cells, Chinese hamster ovary, human osteoblasts, mouse macrophages, human neuroblastoma cells, mouse myoblasts C2C12, apoptosis, cytotoxic effect, myogenic differentiation, MyoD, Connexin 43, mitotic cells, BNNTs AS THERAPEUTIC AGENTS FOR BRAIN CAN-CER, radiotherapy
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