Comparison of complex permittivities of isotonic colloids containing single-wall carbon nanotubes of varying chirality

Tejas Nair, James T. Symanowski, H. Michael Gach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The application of bio-compatible, conductive nanoparticles in combination with radiofrequency (RF) irradiation to raise tissue temperatures between 40 and 60°C for hyperthermia and ablation spurred interest in the complex permittivities of isotonic nanoparticle-based colloids. Nanoparticles with large aspect ratios and high permittivities increase the bulk permittivity of the colloid and RF losses at the macroscopic scale. The complex permittivities of isotonic colloids with and without single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) containing either metallic, semiconducting, or mixed chiralities were measured from 20MHz to 1GHz at room temperature. The colloids were made with one of three different isotonic solvents: phosphate buffered saline (PBS), and Dulbecco's modified eagle medium (DMEM) with and without 0.5% weight/volume bovine serum albumin to simulate cytosol and blood, respectively. The concentration of elemental carbon from the SWCNTs in the colloids ranged from 16 to 17mM. The permittivities were corrected for electrode polarization effects by fitting the data to the Cole-Cole relaxation model with a constant phase angle element. The presence of SWCNTs increased both the real and imaginary components of the permittivities of the colloids. For all three solvents, the direct current (DC) components of the real and imaginary permittivities were greatest for the colloids containing the mixed chirality SWCNTs, followed by the colloids with semiconducting SWCNTs, and then metallic SWCNTs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-146
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Isotonic colloids
  • RF


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