Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bio-inspired Assembly Of Nanoparticle Building Blocks

Date:
November 27, 2006
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Rice University chemists have discovered how to assemble gold and silver nanoparticle building blocks into larger structures based on a novel method that harkens back to one of nature's oldest known chemical innovations -- the self-assembly of lipid membranes that surround all living cells. The research appears in the Nov. 29 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. It could help scientists design everything from better catalysts to potent new anti-cancer drugs.

V-shaped amphiphilic molecules containing gold nanoparticles form cylindrical micelles when exposed to water.
Credit: Eugene Zubarev/Rice University

Chemists at Rice University have discovered how to assemble gold and silver nanoparticle building blocks into larger structures based on a novel method that harkens back to one of nature's oldest known chemical innovations -- the self-assembly of lipid membranes that surround every living cell.

Related Articles


The research appears in the Nov. 29 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS 2006, 128, 15098).

Researchers believe the new method will allow them to create a wide variety of useful materials, including extra-potent cancer drugs and more efficient catalysts for the chemical industry.

The method makes use of the hydrophobic effect, a biochemical phenomena that all living creatures use to create membranes, ultra-thin barriers of fatty acids that form a strong yet dynamic sack around the cell, sealing it from the outside world. Cell membranes are one example of a micelle, a strong bilayer covering that is made of two sheets of lipid-based amphiphiles, molecules that have a water-loving, or hydrophilic, end, and a water-hating, or hydrophobic, end. Like two pieces of cellophane tape being brought together, the hydrophobic sides of the amphiphilic sheets stick to one another, forming the bilayered micelle.

"When the micelle forms, the process drives the packing of all the junction points, which connect the hydrophobic and the hydrophilic part of an amphiphile, into a high-density array," said Eugene Zubarev, the Norman Hackerman-Welch Young Investigator and assistant professor of chemistry. "By attaching a nanoparticle to the junction point of an amphiphile, we can, in effect, use micellization as a means to assemble billions and billions of individual nanoparticles into well-defined one-dimensional superstructures that are soluble in water."

Zubarev and colleagues synthesized V-shaped amphiphiles of polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene oxide) and attached two-nanometer diameter gold particles at the focal point of the V. Upon adding water and inducing micelle formation, the team found it could create tightly packed cylinders of gold nanoparticles measuring just 18 nanometers in diameter.

All micelles form in three allowable shapes -- spheres, cylinders and sack-like vesicles. By varying the length of the polystyrene arm, the solvents used and the size of the gold particles, Zubarev and colleagues were able to form spheres, vesicles and vary the diameter of their cylinders, some of which grew to well-over 1,000 nanometers in length.

"We believe further manipulation of these parameters may provide an opportunity to control the optical and catalytic properties of these nanoassemblies," Zubarev said.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Welch Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Bio-inspired Assembly Of Nanoparticle Building Blocks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061127112811.htm>.
Rice University. (2006, November 27). Bio-inspired Assembly Of Nanoparticle Building Blocks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061127112811.htm
Rice University. "Bio-inspired Assembly Of Nanoparticle Building Blocks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061127112811.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British 'Bio-Bus' Is Powered By Human Waste

British 'Bio-Bus' Is Powered By Human Waste

Buzz60 (Nov. 21, 2014) British company GENeco debuted what its calling the Bio-Bus, a bus fueled entirely by biomethane gas produced from food scraps and sewage. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins