Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Cutting-edge nanotechnologies are breaking into industries November 18th, 2016

Hybrid nanostructures hold hydrogen well: Rice University scientists say boron nitride-graphene hybrid may be right for next-gen green cars October 25th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Nanobiotix Provides Update on Global Development of Lead Product NBTXR3: Seven clinical trials across the world: More than 2/3 of STS patients recruited in the “act.in.sarc” Phase II/III trial: Phase I/II prostate cancer trial now recruiting in the U.S. November 28th, 2016

Discoveries

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Announcements

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Military

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

New method for analyzing crystal structure: Exotic materials called photonic crystals reveal their internal characteristics with new method November 30th, 2016

Water

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Water, water -- the two types of liquid water: Understanding water's behavior could help with Alzheimer's research November 11th, 2016

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

Water vapor sets some oxides aflutter: Newly discovered phenomenon could affect materials in batteries and water-splitting devices October 3rd, 2016

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