Potential applications of carbon nanotubes have attracted many researchers in the field of drug delivery systems. In this study, multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were first functionalized using hyperbranched poly citric acid (PCA) to improve their hydrophilicity and functionality. Then, paclitaxel (PTX), a potent anticancer agent, was conjugated to the carboxyl functional groups of poly citric acid via a cleavable ester bond to obtain a MWNT-g-PCA-PTX conjugate. Drug content of the conjugate was about 38% (w/w). The particle size of MWNT-g-PCA and MWNT-g-PCA-PTX was approximately 125 and 200 nm, respectively. Atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy images showed a curved shape for MWNT-g-PCA and MWNT-g-PCA-PTX, which was in contrast with the straight or linear conformation expected from carbon nanotubes. It seems that the high hydrophilicity of poly citric acid and high hydrophobicity of MWNTs led to conformational changes from a linear state to a curved state. Paclitaxel can be released from the MWNT-g-PCA-PTX conjugates faster at pH 6.8 and 5.0 than at pH 7.4, which was suitable for the release of the drug in tumor tissues and tumor cells. In vitro cytotoxicity studies were evaluated in the A549 and SKOV3 cell lines. MWNT-g-PCA had an insignificant cytotoxic effect on both cell lines. MWNT-g-PCA-PTX had more of a cytotoxic effect than the free drug over a shorter incubation time (eg, 24 hours versus 48 hours), which suggests improved cell penetration of MWNT-g-PCA-PTX. Therefore, paclitaxel conjugated to MWNT-g-PCA is promising for cancer therapeutics.