Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and various modified SWCNTs have drawn a lot of attention due to their potential applications in biomedical field. Before further moving on to real clinical applications, hydrophobicity and toxicity of SWCNTs should be investigated thoroughly. In this paper, 2-methacryloyloxy ethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) was adopted to modify SWCNTs and phosphoryl choline was grafted onto SWCNTs as small molecule moieties and polymeric chains, which made SWCNTs dispersed stably both in water and in cell culture medium for a long time. Cytotoxicity of pristine and modified SWCNTs were assayed upon successful preparation of the designed modified SWCNT. Furthermore, the internalization of SWCNTs by three cells was investigated using a live cell station under normal culture temperature (37°C) and low temperature (4°C). The results showed that the internalization of modified SWCNTs was related to both the active transport and the passive transport. Although the modification with phosphoryl choline remarkably reduced the cytotoxicity of SWCNTs, the results were probably due to other reasons such as the decrease in the ratio of cells which internalized modified SWCNTs since the cells without SWCNTs occupation still exhibited normal states.