Surface patterning of carbon nanotubes can enhance their penetration through a phospholipid bilayer

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S. Pogodin, N.K.H. Slater and V.A. Baulin

ACS Nano, 5 (2), 1141–1146 (2011)

Nanotube patterning may occur naturally upon the spontaneous self-assembly of biomolecules onto the surface of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). It results in periodically alternating bands of surface properties, ranging from relatively hydrophilic to hydrophobic, along the axis of the nanotube. Single-chain mean field (SCMF) theory has been used to estimate the free energy of systems in which a surface patterned nanotube penetrates a phospholipid bilayer. In contrast to unpatterned nanotubes with uniform surface properties, certain patterned nanotubes have been identified that display a relatively low and approximately constant system free energy (< ±10 kT) as the nanotube traverses through the bilayer. These observations support the hypothesis that the spontaneous self-assembly of biomolecules on the surface of SWNTs may facilitate nanotube transduction through cell membranes.

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name=”Vladimir Baulin”
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name=”Nigel Slater”
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Written by Vladimir Baulin
<p>Expertise is computer simulations and theory of soft matter systems. Research is focused on the topics in the theory of Soft matter, polymer physics.</p>
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