Encapsulating drugs within hollow nanotubes offers several advantages, including protection from degradation, the possibility of targeting desired locations, and drug release only under specific conditions. Template synthesis utilizes porous membranes prepared from alumina, polycarbonate, or other materials that can be dissolved under specific conditions. The method allows for great control over the lengths and diameters of nanotubes; moreover, tubes can be constructed from a wide variety of tube materials including proteins, DNA, silica, carbon, and chitosan. A number of capping strategies have been developed to seal payloads within nanotubes. Combining these advances with the ability to target and internalize nanotubes into living cells will allow these assemblies to move into the next phase of development, in vivo experiments.
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