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Home > News > Which came first, the nanotube or the egg?

October 4th, 2008

Which came first, the nanotube or the egg?

Abstract:
Egg whites have found a novel use as a template for making inorganic nanotubes, thanks to Chinese scientists.

Baoyou Geng and colleagues at the Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, made magnetite (Fe3O4) nanotubes in an egg white solution. The egg white protein - which has a high affinity for metal ions - forms organic-inorganic complexes with Fe(III). The complexes then aggregate to form nanosheets, a process that generates heat. The increase in temperature ruptures hydrogen and peptide-iron bonds so that the iron oxide dissociates from the egg white template. The iron oxide sheets then roll up to form hollow nanotubes.

Source:
rsc.org

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