Dresden 2017 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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CPP: Fachverband Chemische Physik und Polymerphysik

CPP 10: Bioinspired Functional Materials II

CPP 10.4: Vortrag

Montag, 20. März 2017, 15:45–16:00, ZEU 114

Carbon-Nanotube Membranes from Self-Assembly in Lipid Bilayers — •Martin Vögele, Jürgen Köfinger, and Gerhard Hummer — Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik, Frankfurt am Main

Carbon nanotube (CNT) pores in lipid membranes are a promising candidate for applications as molecular filters and in drug delivery. The similarity of such pores to cylindrical membrane proteins raises the question whether they can self-assemble to a thin membrane with a high density of pores in a manner similar to protein 2D crystallization. We apply fully atomistic and large-scale coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to explore the hypothetical formation of such a material and to guide future experiments.

We find that indeed carbon nanotubes self-assemble to large clusters in lipid membranes. As the up-right carbon nanotubes induce very strong annular lipid shells around themselves, those clusters include trapped lipids between the CNTs. This trapped state is advantageous as it softens boundaries between otherwise incompatible local crystallization nuclei.

Our simulations suggest that the lipid composition is less important for the experimental procedure to produce such membranes but it will need a very subtle fine-tuning of the CNT properties. If this can be mastered, there is a broad field of applications, e.g. in desalination or dialysis, with many possibilities to tune the desired properties of the material.

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