Casting Metal Nanowires Within Discrete Self-Assembled Peptide Nanotubes

Science  25 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5619, pp. 625-627
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082387

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Tubular nanostructures are suggested to have a wide range of applications in nanotechnology. We report our observation of the self-assembly of a very short peptide, the Alzheimer's β-amyloid diphenylalanine structural motif, into discrete and stiff nanotubes. Reduction of ionic silver within the nanotubes, followed by enzymatic degradation of the peptide backbone, resulted in the production of discrete nanowires with a long persistence length. The same dipeptide building block, made of D-phenylalanine, resulted in the production of enzymatically stable nanotubes.

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