Synergistically Enhanced Dispersion of Native Protein–Carbon Nanotube Conjugates by Fluoroalcohols in Aqueous Solution

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Abstract

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are anticipated as an important new material for use in nanotechnology applications because of their excellent mechanical and electrical properties. For their development, a highly stable dispersion of debundled CNTs is indispensable. Herein we present a new method to enhance dispersibility of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with proteins using alcohols as co-solvents. Addition of fluoroalcohols in solution increased the SWNT dispersion by more than one order of magnitude without protein denaturation. Enhancement of SWNT dispersion through addition of alcohols was attributed to the decreased hydrophobic interaction among SWNTs. This novel approach enables us to produce biofunctional CNTs such as one-dimensional nanobiosensors and drug carriers that can penetrate cells.

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