Gold-Coated Carbon Nanotubes for Biomedical Applications


Carbon nanotubes are known to have particular optical qualities that make them interesting for possible biomedical applications. Specifically, the nanotubes are very responsive to light in the near-infrared range (700 – 1110 nm wavelength). Biological systems, including the human body, are transparent to light in this wavelength range. Because of the optical responsiveness of CNT’s, there are possibilities for using the CNT’s for medical applications, such as medical imaging, and treating cancer. But CNT’s are not very biocompatible, and for this reason, they are not used inside living bodies. Gold however is proven to be biocompatible, and is one of the few metals approved for use in the human body for the FDA.

By combining the biocompatibility of gold with the optical responsiveness of CNT’s, significant possibilities for biomedical applications become practical. Gold can be functionalized, so that the surface of the gold coated CNT’s can be a foundation for various biological targeting agents, such as antibodies, or DNA ligands. Once the gold coated CNT’s are in place in the body, light can be used to excite the Gold CNT’s to produce tumor-killing photothermolysis, and results from medical imaging become sharper using the gold CNT’s as a contrast agent.


Patent Information:
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Nationalized United States 12/664,630 8,313,773 12/14/2009 11/20/2012  
For Information, Contact:
Bryan Renk
Associate Director for Technology Commercialization
University of Arkansas TCO
Jin-Woo Kim
Russell Deaton
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