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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 537091, 12 pages
Research Article

Investigation of Cytotoxicity of Phosphoryl Choline Modified Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes under a Live Cell Station

1College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
2Nanjing Excellence Technology Center for Interventional Medical Devices, Nanjing 210093, China
3Physics Department, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

Received 18 February 2014; Revised 31 May 2014; Accepted 31 May 2014; Published 25 June 2014

Academic Editor: Amitava Mukherjee

Copyright © 2014 Yufeng Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and various modified SWCNTs have drawn a lot of attention due to their potential applications in biomedical field. Before further moving on to real clinical applications, hydrophobicity and toxicity of SWCNTs should be investigated thoroughly. In this paper, 2-methacryloyloxy ethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) was adopted to modify SWCNTs and phosphoryl choline was grafted onto SWCNTs as small molecule moieties and polymeric chains, which made SWCNTs dispersed stably both in water and in cell culture medium for a long time. Cytotoxicity of pristine and modified SWCNTs were assayed upon successful preparation of the designed modified SWCNT. Furthermore, the internalization of SWCNTs by three cells was investigated using a live cell station under normal culture temperature (37°C) and low temperature (4°C). The results showed that the internalization of modified SWCNTs was related to both the active transport and the passive transport. Although the modification with phosphoryl choline remarkably reduced the cytotoxicity of SWCNTs, the results were probably due to other reasons such as the decrease in the ratio of cells which internalized modified SWCNTs since the cells without SWCNTs occupation still exhibited normal states.