Sumio Iijima
2007 Balzan Prize for Nanoscience
Research Project 

Carbon Nanotubes: Structural Study and Applications in Biomedicine
Sumio Iijima is a Professor at Meijo University in Nagoya, Director of the Research Center for Advanced Carbon Materials at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba, and Senior Research Fellow at NEC Central Research Laboratories.
Iijima’s Balzan Research Project was composed of two parts. The first was concerned with the characterization of atomic-level structures and physical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their related nano-structures by means of in situ highresolution electron microscopy (HR-TEM). The detail of the atomic structures of individual tubes has become increasingly important for understanding their physical properties and growth behaviors where the atomic defects are believed to play an important role. The second part dealt with the basic characterization of the CNTs necessary for biomedical applications, namely, drug delivery systems (DDS). CNTs have advantageous properties with respect to conventional DDS materials, such as liposomes and polymeric systems. They can be modified physically and chemically to meet optimum conditions for loading drugs in the inner spaces of CNTs and releasing them at specific sites and timing.
In the main, the program was conducted at Sumio Iijima’s affiliation, Meijo University, Nagoya, from 2008 to 2010. Some research was performed at the Research Center of Nanocarbon Materials at the National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, a governmental organization which is also directed by Professor Iijima.


Excerpt from the: The Balzan Prizewinners’ Research Projects: An Overview 2016
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