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Eco-friendly synthesis of surface grafted Carbon nanotubes from sugarcane cubes for development of prolonged release drug delivery platform



Surface grafting of nanocarriers could modulate their properties and characteristics. As carbon nanotubes synthesis is a very tricky process and requires high-end methods, hence the present investigation was aimed to develop an eco-friendly method for synthesis carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and subsequent surface grafting for enhanced drug delivery application. The present study elaborates two-step chemical modifications; wherein the first step is catalytic cleavage of natural precursor in the presence of ferrocene and the second step involve chemical grafting of Acyclovir (ACV) as a model drug to understand the drug release behaviour. The catalytic cleavage of sugarcane cubes (natural precursor) was carried out in a closed copper tube, which prevents oxidation and results in a conversion of tubular nanostructures to amorphous carbon. The covalent attachment of ACV on purified CNTs (fCNTs) was done using carbodiimide chemistry. The preliminary Uv-Vis absorbance spectra defined at 260 nm was arised due to π-π* stacking of aromatic C-C bonds. The Fourier Transforms Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) indicated the hydroxyl stretch at 3300 cm-1 while amide I bond formation was observed at 1672 cm-1. The XRD spectra confirmed successful synthesis of CNTs. The calculated average crystallite size (Scherer equation) of synthesized CNTs was found to be 42.84 and 44.45 nm; it was also in accordance with the morphological observation as confirmed simultaneously using SEM analysis. The covalently attached ACV was released up to 80% during 8h of in vitro drug release study. The surface grafting potential of CNTs was found to be promising compared to other nanomaterials.