Nanotubes that build themselves

Researchers involved in NanoLund have succeeded in producing nanotubes from a single building block using so-called molecular self-recognition. The tube can also change shape depending on the surrounding environment. The results can contribute to the future development of transport channels for drugs through the cell membrane.

In the present study, researchers from Lund University in Sweden, together with colleagues from Vilnius University in Lithuania, have studied how molecules attach to each other using weak chemical bonds to form large structures.

The aim of the study was to determine the smallest possible size of these molecules, in which they are still able to provide enough information to successfully attach and form a desired large structure. The researchers’ strategy has been to use many weak hydrogen bonds which assemble themselves in a pre-programmed manner.

Read the journal article "Stimuli-controlled self-assembly of diverse tubular aggregates from one single small monomer" in Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms14943 or find more information in the Lund University press release (in Swedish and in English) or on SVT Nyheter (in Swedish), Nanotechnology now (in English), (in English), I-Connect007 (in English).