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Using alumina templates both nanotubes (open on both ends) and nano test tubes (open on only one end) have been synthesized from many different materials and these have great potential as delivery vehicles for biomedical applications. This review focuses on our recent results directed towards developing "smart" nanotubes for biomolecule delivery applications. While intensive efforts have focused on spherical nanoparticles that are easier to make, cylindrical particles or nanotubes offer many advantages. First, the tunable alumina template allows one to dictate both the pore diameter and length of the nanotube. In addition, template synthesized nanotubes can be differentially functionalized on their inner and outer surfaces. This review highlights these advantages in the contexts of drug extraction and antibody–antigen interactions, the synthesis of protein nanotubes, and recent advances in covalently capped ("corked") nanotubes designed to prevent premature payload leakage. Though diverse applications for nanotubes have already been discovered, many new and exciting paths await exploration.
Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.