Carbon nanotubes and graphene are both low-dimensional sp2 carbon nanomaterials exhibiting many unique physical and chemical properties that are interesting in a wide range of areas including nanomedicine. Since 2004, carbon nanotubes have been extensively explored as drug delivery carriers for the intracellular transport of chemotherapy drugs, proteins, and genes. In vivo cancer treatment with carbon nanotubes has been demonstrated in animal experiments by several different groups. Recently, graphene, another allotrope of carbon, has also shown promise in various biomedical applications. In this article, we will highlight recent research on these two categories of closely related carbon nanomaterials for applications in drug delivery and cancer therapy, and discuss the opportunities and challenges in this rapidly growing field.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70161-4