Application of carbon nanotubes in chiral and achiral separations of pharmaceuticals, biologics and chemicals

Ayman L. Hemasa, Nenad Naumovski, William A. Maher, Ashraf Ghanem

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) possess unique mechanical, physical, electrical and absorbability properties coupled with their nanometer dimensional scale that renders them extremely valuable for applications in many fields including nanotechnology and chromatographic separation. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview about the applications of CNTs in chiral and achiral separations of pharmaceuticals, biologics and chemicals. Chiral single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have been directly applied for the enantioseparation of pharmaceuticals and biologicals by using them as stationary or pseudostationary phases in chromatographic separation techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), capillary electrophoresis (CE) and gas chromatography (GC). Achiral MWCNTs have been used for achiral separations as efficient sorbent objects in solid-phase extraction techniques of biochemicals and drugs. Achiral SWCNTs have been applied in achiral separation of biological samples. Achiral SWCNTs and MWCNTs have been also successfully used to separate achiral mixtures of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Collectively, functionalized CNTs have been indirectly applied in separation science by enhancing the enantioseparation of different chiral selectors whereas non-functionalized CNTs have shown efficient capabilities for chiral separations by using techniques such as encapsulation or immobilization in polymer monolithic columns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number186
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2017


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