Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Columbia Engineers Manipulate a Buckyball by Inserting a Single Water Molecule: Nanoscale Technology Used to Drive a “Big" C60 through a "Small" H2O May Help Drug Delivery

Abstract:
Columbia Engineering researchers have developed a technique to isolate a single water molecule inside a buckyball, or C60, and to drive motion of the so-called "big" nonpolar ball through the encapsulated "small" polar H2O molecule, a controlling transport mechanism in a nanochannel under an external electric field. They expect this method will lead to an array of new applications, including effective ways to control drug delivery and to assemble C60-based functional 3D structures at the nanoscale level, as well as expanding our understanding of single molecule properties. The study was published as a "Physics Focus" in the April 12 issue of Physical Review Letters.

Columbia Engineers Manipulate a Buckyball by Inserting a Single Water Molecule: Nanoscale Technology Used to Drive a “Big" C60 through a "Small" H2O May Help Drug Delivery

New York, NY | Posted on May 6th, 2013

"Buckyballs, more formally known as Buckminsterfullerenes, or fullerenes, are spherical, hollow molecular structures made of 60 carbon atoms, with the size of ~1 nm—6,000-8,000 times smaller than a regular red blood cell— and, because of their highly symmetrical structure, very hydrophobic core, covalent nonpolar bonds, and more importantly, relatively non-toxicity to the human body, they are a perfect container for drug molecules," explains Xi Chen, associate professor of earth and environmental engineering, who led the research. He and his team believe their work is the first attempt to manipulate a nonpolar molecule (C60) or structure by an inserted polar molecule (H2O).

Chen says his findings may open a new way of controlling and delivering a nonpolar "big" molecule like C60 through the encapsulated "small" polar molecule like H2O. This could lead to important applications in nanotech and biotech areas, including drug delivery where researchers can "imprison" the polar drug molecules inside a hollow structure and then guide them to their targets.

And, from a fundamental point of view, he hopes that the isolated, encapsulated single molecule, like the H2O one in his study, will provide an important platform for revealing and probing inherent characteristics of a single molecule, free from its outside environment.

"The important role of hydrogen bonds in the properties of water, like surface tension and viscosity, and the precise interactions between a single water molecule and hydrogen bonds, are still unclear," Chen notes, "so our new technique to isolate a single water molecule free from any hydrogen bonds provides an opportunity for answering these questions."

Since the discovery of C60 in the 1980s, scientists have been trying to solve the challenge of controlling a single C60. Several mechanical strategies involving AFM (atomic force microscopy) have been developed, but these are costly and time-intensive. The ability to drive a single C60 through a simple external force field, such as an electrical or magnetic field, would be a major step forward.

In the Columbia Engineering study, the researchers found that, when they encapsulated a polar molecule within a nonpolar fullerene, they could use an external electrical field to transport the structures to desired positions and adjust the transport velocity so that both delivery direction and time were controllable. Chen's team came up with the idea a year ago, and confirmed their surprising results through extensive atomistic simulations.

Chen plans to explore more properties of the molecule and other similar structures, and to continue probing the interaction and communication of the encapsulated single water molecule with its surroundings.

"Studying the communication of an imprisoned single water molecule with its outside environment such as adjacent molecules," he adds, "is like learning how a person sitting inside a room makes connections with friends outside, selectively on demand (i.e. with control) or randomly (without control) through, say, over the phone."

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

####

About Columbia Engineering
Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, founded in 1864, offers programs in nine departments to both undergraduate and graduate students. With facilities specifically designed and equipped to meet the laboratory and research needs of faculty and students, Columbia Engineering is home to NSF-NIH funded centers in genomic science, molecular nanostructures, materials science, and energy, as well as one of the world’s leading programs in financial engineering. These interdisciplinary centers are leading the way in their respective fields while individual groups of engineers and scientists collaborate to solve some of modern society’s more difficult challenges.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Holly Evarts
Director
Strategic Communications and Media Relations
212-854-3206 (o)
347-453-7408 (c)

Copyright © Columbia Engineering

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

News and information

Graphene is strong, but is it tough? Berkeley Lab scientists find that polycrystalline graphene is not very resistant to fracture February 7th, 2016

Lithium battery catalyst found to harm key soil microorganism February 7th, 2016

Scientists take key step toward custom-made nanoscale chemical factories: Berkeley Lab researchers part of team that creates new function in tiny protein shell structures February 6th, 2016

Discovery of the specific properties of graphite-based carbon materials February 6th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Lithium battery catalyst found to harm key soil microorganism February 7th, 2016

Scientists take key step toward custom-made nanoscale chemical factories: Berkeley Lab researchers part of team that creates new function in tiny protein shell structures February 6th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter: Rice University scientists replace metal with carbon nanotubes for aerospace use January 28th, 2016

Scientists provide new guideline for synthesis of fullerene electron acceptors January 28th, 2016

Nanostructural Changes in Solar Cells to Increase Their Efficiency January 28th, 2016

FLEXcon shares insights on developments and safety guidelines in nanotechnology: FLEXcon hosted New England Nanotechnology Association event, discussing latest industry activities and innovations January 25th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Scientists take key step toward custom-made nanoscale chemical factories: Berkeley Lab researchers part of team that creates new function in tiny protein shell structures February 6th, 2016

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system February 5th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Discoveries

Graphene is strong, but is it tough? Berkeley Lab scientists find that polycrystalline graphene is not very resistant to fracture February 7th, 2016

Lithium battery catalyst found to harm key soil microorganism February 7th, 2016

Scientists take key step toward custom-made nanoscale chemical factories: Berkeley Lab researchers part of team that creates new function in tiny protein shell structures February 6th, 2016

Discovery of the specific properties of graphite-based carbon materials February 6th, 2016

Announcements

Graphene is strong, but is it tough? Berkeley Lab scientists find that polycrystalline graphene is not very resistant to fracture February 7th, 2016

Lithium battery catalyst found to harm key soil microorganism February 7th, 2016

Scientists take key step toward custom-made nanoscale chemical factories: Berkeley Lab researchers part of team that creates new function in tiny protein shell structures February 6th, 2016

Discovery of the specific properties of graphite-based carbon materials February 6th, 2016

Military

Scientists guide gold nanoparticles to form 'diamond' superlattices: DNA scaffolds cage and coax nanoparticles into position to form crystalline arrangements that mimic the atomic structure of diamond February 4th, 2016

Researchers develop completely new kind of polymer: Hybrid polymers could lead to new concepts in self-repairing materials, drug delivery and artificial muscles January 30th, 2016

Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter: Rice University scientists replace metal with carbon nanotubes for aerospace use January 28th, 2016

Scientists build a neural network using plastic memristors: A group of Russian and Italian scientists have created a neural network based on polymeric memristors -- devices that can potentially be used to build fundamentally new computers January 28th, 2016

Water

Highly efficient heavy metal ions filter January 25th, 2016

Louisiana Tech University student coauthors research in ACS journal January 15th, 2016

Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles Used to Purify Contaminated Water December 28th, 2015

Photocatalytic Nanostructures Show Ability to Purify Wastewater December 24th, 2015

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic