Nanotechnology Now







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

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment April 27th, 2015

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment April 27th, 2015

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

Two-dimensional semiconductor comes clean April 27th, 2015

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

SouthWest NanoTechnologies CEO Dave Arthur to Speak at NanoBCA DC Roundtable on May 19 in Washington DC April 20th, 2015

How to maximize the superconducting critical temperature in a molecular superconductor: International team led by Tohoku University opens new route for discovering high Tc superconductors April 19th, 2015

Nanotubes with two walls have singular qualities: Rice University lab calculates unique electronic qualities of double-walled carbon nanotubes April 16th, 2015

MIT sensor detects spoiled meat: Tiny device could be incorporated into 'smart packaging' to improve food safety April 15th, 2015

Nanomedicine

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment April 27th, 2015

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

Northwestern scientists develop first liquid nanolaser: Technology could lead to new way of doing 'lab on a chip' medical diagnostics April 25th, 2015

Discoveries

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

Two-dimensional semiconductor comes clean April 27th, 2015

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Announcements

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

The 16th Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT 2015) unveils 25 Keynote Speakers: Call for abstracts open April 27th, 2015

Graphenea celebrates fifth anniversary April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Military

Two-dimensional semiconductor comes clean April 27th, 2015

Electron spin brings order to high entropy alloys April 23rd, 2015

Engineer improves rechargeable batteries with MoS2 nano 'sandwich' April 18th, 2015

MIT sensor detects spoiled meat: Tiny device could be incorporated into 'smart packaging' to improve food safety April 15th, 2015

Water

Quantum model reveals surface structure of water: National Physical Laboratory, IBM and Edinburgh University have used a new quantum model to reveal the molecular structure of water's liquid surface April 20th, 2015

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors: Company's Newest Director Brings Expertise in Commercial and Legal Matters Both in the United States and China; Joins on the Heels of Successful Business Development Trade Mission to China April 18th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Produce Magnetic Recyclable Photocatalyst to Purify Polluted Water April 8th, 2015

Water makes wires even more nano: Rice University lab extends meniscus-mask process to make sub-10 nanometer paths April 6th, 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