Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted great interest of the nano community and beyond. However, the biomedical applications of CNTs arouse serious concerns for their unknown in vivo consequence, in which the information of pharmacokinetics, metabolism and toxicity of CNTs is essential. In this review, we summarize the updated data of CNTs from the biomedical view. The information shows that surface chemistry is crucial in regulating the in vivo behaviors of CNTs. Among the functionalization methods, PEGylation is the most efficient one to improve the pharmacokinetics and biocompatibility of CNTs. The guiding effects of the pharmacokinetics, metabolism and toxicity information on the biomedical applications of CNTs are discussed.
This article is published online in Theranostics and is free to access.