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Stable and robust polymer nanotubes stretched from polymersomes

TitleStable and robust polymer nanotubes stretched from polymersomes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsJ. E. Reiner, J. M. Wells, R. B. Kishore, C. Pfefferkorn, and K. Helmerson
Date Publishedjan
Keywords2006, Chemistry, Confocal, Cross-Linking Reagents, Cross-Linking Reagents: pharmacology, Electron, Lipid Bilayers, Lipid Bilayers: chemistry, Materials Testing, Microscopy, Nanotechnology, Nanotubes, Nanotubes: chemistry, Physical, Physicochemical Phenomena, Polymers, Polymers: chemistry, Single Fellow, Temperature, Transmission, Video

We create long polymer nanotubes by directly pulling on the membrane of polymersomes using either optical tweezers or a micropipette. The polymersomes are composed of amphiphilic diblock copolymers, and the nanotubes formed have an aqueous core connected to the aqueous interior of the polymersome. We stabilize the pulled nanotubes by subsequent chemical cross-linking. The cross-linked nanotubes are extremely robust and can be moved to another medium for use elsewhere. We demonstrate the ability to form networks of polymer nanotubes and polymersomes by optical manipulation. The aqueous core of the polymer nanotubes together with their robust character makes them interesting candidates for nanofluidics and other applications in biotechnology.