5_03b/2009Carbon nanotubes: Small 3/2009

The inside cover picture shows an atomic force microscopy image of flowerlike geometries created by directed attachment of αβ tubulin dimer (cytoskelelal protein schematically shown in green and violet) onto multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs, schematically shown as graphite cylinders) to form tubulin-MWNT conjugates. The resulting conjugates undergo self-assembly and microtubule formation to yield functional nano- and mesoscale architectures, including biohybrids of microtubule-encapsulated nanotubes. These unique biohybrids can be manipulated in synthetic, non-physiological environments by surface-attached kinesin molecular motors. Such a strategy represents a new paradigm for the design of multifunctional assemblies with potential applications as sensors, biological templates for nanofabrication, and building blocks for hierarchical supramolecular assemblies. For more information, please read the Communication “Tubulin Encapsulation of Carbon Nanotubes into Functional Hybrid Assemblies” by J. S. Dordick et al. beginning on page 310.

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