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

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Nanotech Grants Options September 22nd, 2016

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water September 21st, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

PHENOMEN is a FET-Open Research Project aiming to lay the foundations a new information technology September 19th, 2016

NIST Patents Single-Photon Detector for Potential Encryption and Sensing Apps September 16th, 2016

Electron beam microscope directly writes nanoscale features in liquid with metal ink September 16th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Semiconducting inorganic double helix: New flexible semiconductor for electronics, solar technology and photo catalysis September 15th, 2016

World's most powerful X-ray takes a 'sledgehammer' to molecules September 14th, 2016

Researchers design solids that control heat with spinning superatoms: Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia University collaborators discover the cause of vastly different thermal conductivities in superatomic structural analogues September 8th, 2016

For first time, carbon nanotube transistors outperform silicon September 8th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

BBI Solutions launches innovative conjugate blocking technology that enhances signal intensity for lateral flow immunoassays September 20th, 2016

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Graphene nanoribbons show promise for healing spinal injuries: Rice University scientists develop Texas-PEG to help knit severed, damaged spinal cords September 19th, 2016

Discoveries

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Speedy bacteria detector could help prevent foodborne illnesses September 21st, 2016

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water September 21st, 2016

Announcements

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Nanotech Grants Options September 22nd, 2016

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water September 21st, 2016

Military

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Nano-lipid particles from edible ginger could improve drug delivery for colon cancer, study finds September 8th, 2016

3-D graphene has promise for bio applications: Rice University-led team welds nanoscale sheets to form tough, porous material September 7th, 2016

Nanodiamonds in an instant: Rice University-led team morphs nanotubes into tougher carbon for spacecraft, satellites September 6th, 2016

Water

Atomic scale pipes available on demand and by design September 9th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

SLAC, Stanford gadget grabs more solar energy to disinfect water faster: Plopped into water, a tiny device triggers the formation of chemicals that kill microbes in minutes August 15th, 2016

New method for making green LEDs enhances their efficiency and brightness July 30th, 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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic