New nanoassembly technique is created

November 27, 2006

U.S. chemists at Rice University say they have discovered how to assemble gold and silver nanoparticle building blocks into larger structures.

The researchers say their method relates to one of nature's oldest known chemical innovations -- the self-assembly of lipid membranes that surround every living cell.

The method makes use of the hydrophobic effect, a biochemical phenomena that all living creatures use to create membranes -- one example of a micelle, a strong bi-layer covering that is made of two sheets of lipid-based amphiphiles, or molecules that have a water-loving, hydrophilic, end, and a water-hating, hydrophobic, end.

Like two pieces of cellophane tape being brought together, the hydrophobic sides of the amphiphilic sheets stick to one another, forming the bilayered micelle.

The scientists believe the new method will allow them to create a wide variety of useful materials, including extra-potent cancer drugs and more efficient catalysts for the chemical industry.

The discovery is detailed in the Nov. 29 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Simulations lead to design of near-frictionless material

Related Stories

Simulations lead to design of near-frictionless material

July 22, 2015

Argonne scientists used Mira to identify and improve a new mechanism for eliminating friction, which fed into the development of a hybrid material that exhibited superlubricity at the macroscale for the first time. Argonne ...

Quantum Criticality in life's proteins (Update)

April 15, 2015

(Phys.org)—Stuart Kauffman, from the University of Calgary, and several of his colleagues have recently published a paper on the Arxiv server titled 'Quantum Criticality at the Origins of Life'. The idea of a quantum criticality, ...

Simple method of binding pollutants in water

March 26, 2015

New types of membrane adsorbers remove unwanted particles from water and also, at the same time, dissolved substances such as the hormonally active bis-phenol A or toxic lead. To do this, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute ...

Recommended for you

Wafer-thin material heralds future of wearable technology

July 27, 2015

UOW's Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) has successfully pioneered a way to construct a flexible, foldable and lightweight energy storage device that provides the building blocks for next-generation ...

Could stronger, tougher paper replace metal?

July 24, 2015

Researchers at the University of Maryland recently discovered that paper made of cellulose fibers is tougher and stronger the smaller the fibers get. For a long time, engineers have sought a material that is both strong (resistant ...

Changing the color of light

July 23, 2015

Researchers at the University of Delaware have received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to explore a new idea that could improve solar cells, medical imaging and even cancer treatments. Simply put, they want ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.