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Watching molecules grow into microtubes
Date:2/22/2013

ntually into centimeter-long microtubules. The vesicles stick onto the surface of the tube, walk along the surface and attach themselves, causing the tube to grow longer and wider. The entire process takes mere seconds, with the growth rate of 20 microns per second.

"While it was exciting to watch the self-assembly of these molecules, we are even more excited about the implications of the self-assembly of such small molecules," Singamaneni says. "This mechanism can be used to load the vesicles with the desired macromolecules, such as proteins, antibodies or antibiotics, for example, and build microtubes with a biological function."

Singamaneni says his research team collaborated with researchers in Singapore who are experts in molecular crystals, as well as with colleagues in the Department of Chemistry.

"We hope that once we can co-assemble some functional nanostructures along with these small molecules, then these molecular assemblies can have applications in biological sensors and chemical sensors," Singamaneni says.


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Contact: Neil Schoenherr
nschoenherr@wustl.edu
314-935-5235
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert

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