Size effects of carbon nanotubes and graphene on cellular uptake
MOE Key Laboratory of Laser Life Science and Institute of Laser Life Science, College of Biophotonics, South China Normal University - Guangzhou 510631, China
Received: 13 September 2012
Accepted: 2 November 2012
A quantitative thermodynamic model has been presented to investigate the effects of the size of carbon nanotubes and graphene on endocytosis, which provides a simple method to evaluate the optimal size with the fast endocytosis speed. It is found that the optimal radius of a close-ended nanotube increases from 12 nm to 25 nm by reducing its length to zero. However, an open-ended carbon nanotube has a larger optimal size than that of a close-ended nanotube. Furthermore, theoretical results show that a disk-shaped graphene has an optimal radius of about 25–100 nm when its thickness decreases from 20 nm to 5 nm. The agreement between theoretical results and experimental observations implies that the developed model could be applicable to understand the basic physical mechanism of endocytosis of carbon nanotubes and graphene.
PACS: 68.35.Md – Surface thermodynamics, surface energies / 87.16.D- – Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles / 87.85.Rs – Nanotechnologies-applications
© EPLA, 2012