Carbon nanomaterials: a new way against tuberculosis

Flavio De Maio, Valentina Palmieri, Marco De Spirito, Giovanni Delogu, Massimiliano Papi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the most alarming worldwide infectious diseases primarily in low-income countries, where the infection shows a higher and unvaried prevalence. In the last years, the emergence and spread of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strains resistant to first-line anti-TB drugs are the cause of major concern and prompted the implementation of new treatments, including the development of new drugs and the repurposing of old ones. Areas covered: In this review, we discuss solutions against TB based on nanomaterials (NMTs), alone or combined with current anti-TB drugs. We will summarize drug delivery platforms tested in in vivo or in vitro models and their activity against mycobacteria. We will describe how the new nanotechnologies based on carbon nanomaterials, like carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide are now facing the panorama of the medical fight against TB. Expert opinion: We foresee that in the next decade carbon nanomaterials will be at the forefront in fighting emerging antibiotic-resistant Mtb strains by shortening treatment periods, reducing adverse effects and mitigating antibiotic use. However, toxicity and biodegradation studies should be done prior to the clinical translation of carbon nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-875
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Antitubercular Agents/pharmacology
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Graphite/chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis/drug effects
  • Nanotubes, Carbon/chemistry
  • Tuberculosis/drug therapy


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