Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > CBEN: Buckyball Aggregates are Soluble, Antibacterial

Abstract:
Research Offers Clues About C60 Behavior in Natural Environments

CBEN: Buckyball Aggregates are Soluble, Antibacterial

Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN)

Houston, TX | June 22, 2005

In some of the first research to probe how buckyballs will interact with natural ecosystems, Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology finds that the molecules spontaneously clump together upon contact with water, forming nanoparticles that are both soluble and toxic to bacteria.

The research challenges conventional wisdom: since buckyballs are notoriously insoluble by themselves, most scientists had assumed they would remain insoluble in nature. The findings also raise questions about how the buckyball aggregates -­ dubbed nano-C60 -­ will interact with other particles and living things in natural ecosystems.

The findings appear in the June 1 issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

"The fact that nano-C60 dissolves in water raises questions about water as a vector for the movement of these types of materials," said Vicki Colvin, CBEN director, professor of chemistry and a co-author on the study.

Buckyballs are soccer ball-shaped molecules of 60 carbon atoms that were discovered at Rice in 1985. While a few companies are already using trace amounts of buckyballs in products, large-scale production of buckyballs is still a year or two away. Ultimately, companies hope to use buckyballs in everything from pharmaceuticals to sporting goods.

The research team was led by Georgia Tech environmental engineer Joseph Hughes and included almost a dozen Rice collaborators. They found that nano-C60 readily dissolves in water. The clumps, which measured between 25 and 500 nanometers in diameter, were also found to persist for up to 15 weeks in freshwater.

The researchers also exposed nano-C60 to two common types of soil bacteria. They found the particles inhibited both the growth and respiration of the bacteria at very low concentrations - as little as 0.5 parts per million.

"The antibacterial properties of the C60 aggregates also raise some interesting questions," said Colvin. "We think it may be possible to harness those properties for good applications, but we also advocate continued research on the potentially negative effects that these materials could have on the health of natural ecosystems."

Hughes, the study's lead author, said scientists don't yet know enough to accurately predict what impact buckyballs will have on the environment or in living systems, but he said the findings do illustrate the shortcomings of federal guidelines for the handling and disposal of buckyballs, which are subject to the same regulations as bulk carbon black.

"Not all carbon is the same," said Hughes. "Graphite and diamonds are both bulk carbon, for example, but current standards call for handling them in completely different ways. Our results suggest buckyballs also should be handled differently."

Other Rice collaborators include CBEN Executive Director Kevin Ausman; Jane Tao, assistant professor of biochemistry and cell biology; Wenhua Guo, research scientist; Lawrence Alemany, senior research scientist; and graduate students J.D. Fortner, D. Y. Lyon, C.M. Sayes, A.M. Boyd, J.C. Falkner and E.M. Hotze.

####


About Rice University:
Rice University is consistently ranked one of America's best teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its: size - 2,850 undergraduates and 1,950 graduate students; selectivity -10 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources‹an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1, and the fifth largest endowment per student among American universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work. Rice's wooded campus is located in the nation's fourth largest city and on America's South Coast.

For additional information, visit www.rice.edu

Contact:
Jade Boyd
(713) 348-6778
jadeboyd@rice.edu

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Preparing for Nano

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years: Targeted medicine deliveries and increased energy efficiency are just two of many ways October 26th, 2016

Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016

Nanotechnology is changing everything from medicine to self-healing buildings: Nanotechnology is so small it's measured in billionths of metres, and it is revolutionising every aspect of our lives April 2nd, 2016

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Possible Futures

Researchers identify structural changes that occur in enveloped viruses before invading host August 21st, 2018

Magnetic antiparticles offer new horizons for information technologies: Computer simulations reveal new behavior of antiskyrmions in gradually increased electric currents August 21st, 2018

Energy-efficient spin current can be controlled by magnetic field and temperature: SCMR effect simplifies the design of fundamental spintronic components August 20th, 2018

Color effects from transparent 3D printed nanostructures: New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D print templates for user-given colors Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference August 18th, 2018

Announcements

Researchers identify structural changes that occur in enveloped viruses before invading host August 21st, 2018

Magnetic antiparticles offer new horizons for information technologies: Computer simulations reveal new behavior of antiskyrmions in gradually increased electric currents August 21st, 2018

Energy-efficient spin current can be controlled by magnetic field and temperature: SCMR effect simplifies the design of fundamental spintronic components August 20th, 2018

Color effects from transparent 3D printed nanostructures: New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D print templates for user-given colors Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference August 18th, 2018

Environment

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

Nanomaterials could mean more algae outbreaks for wetlands, waterways: High tech metal particles may inadvertently take a toll on aquatic life June 26th, 2018

Squeezing light at the nanoscale: Ultra-confined light could detect harmful molecules June 17th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project