Implications include developing materials that both detect and kill biological agents
University of Pittsburgh researchers have synthesized a simple molecule that not only produces perfectly uniform, self-assembled nanotubes but creates what they report as the first "nanocarpet," whereby these nanotubes organize themselves into an expanse of upright clusters that when magnified a million times resemble the fibers of a shag rug. Moreover, unlike other nanotube structures, these tubes display sensitivity to different agents by changing color and can be trained to kill bacteria, such as E. coli, with just a jab to its cell membrane.
How a mere single-step synthesis of a hydrocarbon and a simple salt compound produced these unique nanotube structures with antimicrobial capability is described in a paper posted on the Web site for the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The findings have implications for developing products that can simultaneously detect and kill biological weapons.
Lisa Rossi | EurekAlert!
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