Fabrication of Lipid Tubules with Embedded Quantum Dots by Membrane Tubulation Protein



The first one-dimensional (1D) assembly of low-toxicity CuInS2/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) embedded in lipid nanotubules, formed from liposomes using the Amphiphysin-BAR (Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs domain of human amphiphysin) protein to elongate the structure, is reported. The QD-containing lipid nanotubules display a high aspect ratio of ≈500:1 (≈40 nm diameter and 20 μm length) and are stable for more than 20 h. Furthermore, this methodology is extended to the assembly of various nanoparticle species within 1D lipid nanotubules, and includes materials such as CdSe and Au. Encapsulation within the hydrophobic core of the bilayer makes these materials highly biocompatible. The developed methodology and materials with these unique characteristics could be useful for various applications in nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine.