05/20/2008 - Strong, versatile little "nanotubes" made out of carbon are considered future stars in nanotechnology research in medicine and industry. Now a study finds that longer threads of the stuff mimic the toxic qualities of asbestos, renewing questions about how carbon nanotubes can be used safely.
Researchers with British institutes and the U.S.-based Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies injected mice with asbestos and with commercial samples of carbon nanotubes of varying sizes. When they examined the lining of the rodents' abdominal cavities, the researchers observed that longer nanotubes behaved like asbestos, provoking inflammation and lesions.
View Carbon Nanotubes Mimic Asbestos in Early Study on the Associated Press' site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.