Atomic force microscope-based dissection of human metaphase chromosomes and high resolutional imaging by carbon nanotube tip.
The present study was performed to introduce a novel chromosome dissection method employing atomic force microscopy (AFM) in a dynamic force mode for the chemical or molecular biological analysis of tiny chromosomal fragments. After AFM observation of human chromosomes prepared for light microscopy, a region of interest was dissected by increasing the loading force in a series of single-line scans of the target portion by controlling it with the amplitude reference of the tip in a dynamic force mode. The marker gene of the nucleolar organizing region (NOR) was amplified by our designed primers for 5.8S ribosomal DNA. After the dissection, topographic profiles in the section were then obtained with a carbon nanotube (CNT) probe in ambient condition. These results are discussed in relation to a fundamental technology for chromosomal analysis. (+info)
Supramolecular self-assembly of lipid derivatives on carbon nanotubes.
Images of the assembly of surfactants and synthetic lipids on the surface of carbon nanotubes were obtained by transmission electron microscopy. Above the critical micellar concentration, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) forms supramolecular structures made of rolled-up half-cylinders on the nanotube surface. Depending on the symmetry and the diameter of the carbon nanotube, we observed rings, helices, or double helices. Similar self-assemblies were also obtained with several synthetic single-chain lipids designed for the immobilization of histidine-tagged proteins. At the nanotube-water interface, permanent assemblies were produced from mixed micelles of SDS and different water-insoluble double-chain lipids after dialysis of the surfactant. Such arrangements could be further exploited for the development of new biosensors and bioelectronic nanomaterials. (+info)
Water and proton conduction through carbon nanotubes as models for biological channels.
Carbon nanotubes, unmodified (pristine) and modified through charged atoms, were simulated in water, and their water conduction rates determined. The conducted water inside the nanotubes was found to exhibit a strong ordering of its dipole moments. In pristine nanotubes the water dipoles adopt a single orientation along the tube axis with a low flipping rate between the two possible alignments. Modification can induce in nanotubes a bipolar ordering as previously observed in biological water channels. Network thermodynamics was applied to investigate proton conduction through the nanotubes. (+info)
Osmotic water transport through carbon nanotube membranes.
We use molecular dynamics simulations to study osmotically driven transport of water molecules through hexagonally packed carbon nanotube membranes. Our simulation setup comprises two such semipermeable membranes separating compartments of pure water and salt solution. The osmotic force drives water flow from the pure-water to the salt-solution compartment. Monitoring the flow at molecular resolution reveals several distinct features of nanoscale flows. In particular, thermal fluctuations become significant at the nanoscopic length scales, and as a result, the flow is stochastic in nature. Further, the flow appears frictionless and is limited primarily by the barriers at the entry and exit of the nanotube pore. The observed flow rates are high (5.8 water molecules per nanosecond and nanotube), comparable to those through the transmembrane protein aquaporin-1, and are practically independent of the length of the nanotube, in contrast to predictions of macroscopic hydrodynamics. All of these distinct characteristics of nanoscopic water flow can be modeled quantitatively by a 1D continuous-time random walk. At long times, the pure-water compartment is drained, and the net flow of water is interrupted by the formation of structured solvation layers of water sandwiched between two nanotube membranes. Structural and thermodynamic aspects of confined water monolayers are studied. (+info)
RecA-double stranded DNA complexes studied by atomic force microscopy.
RecA-double stranded (ds) DNA complexes have been studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). When the complexes were prepared in the presence of ATP gamma S, fully covered RecA-dsDNA filaments were observed by AFM. When the concentration of RecA proteins was lower, various lengths of filaments were found. The variation of the observed structures may directly reflect the real distribution of the intermediate complexes in the reaction mixture, as the mixture was simply deposited on a mica surface for AFM observation without special fixation or staining. The use of a carbon nanotube (CNT) AFM tip enabled high resolution to reveal the periodicity of RecA-dsDNA filaments. Our observations demonstrated the potential of the AFM method for the structural studies of the RecA-dsDNA complexes, especially their intermediate states. (+info)
Pulmonary toxicity of single-wall carbon nanotubes in mice 7 and 90 days after intratracheal instillation.
Nanomaterials are part of an industrial revolution to develop lightweight but strong materials for a variety of purposes. Single-wall carbon nanotubes are an important member of this class of materials. They structurally resemble rolled-up graphite sheets, usually with one end capped; individually they are about 1 nm in diameter and several microns long, but they often pack tightly together to form rods or ropes of microscopic sizes. Carbon nanotubes possess unique electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties and have many potential applications in the electronics, computer, and aerospace industries. Unprocessed nanotubes are very light and could become airborne and potentially reach the lungs. Because the toxicity of nanotubes in the lung is not known, their pulmonary toxicity was investigated. The three products studied were made by different methods and contained different types and amounts of residual catalytic metals. Mice were intratracheally instilled with 0, 0.1, or 0.5 mg of carbon nanotubes, a carbon black negative control, or a quartz positive control and euthanized 7 d or 90 d after the single treatment for histopathological study of the lungs. All nanotube products induced dose-dependent epithelioid granulomas and, in some cases, interstitial inflammation in the animals of the 7-d groups. These lesions persisted and were more pronounced in the 90-d groups; the lungs of some animals also revealed peribronchial inflammation and necrosis that had extended into the alveolar septa. The lungs of mice treated with carbon black were normal, whereas those treated with high-dose quartz revealed mild to moderate inflammation. These results show that, for the test conditions described here and on an equal-weight basis, if carbon nanotubes reach the lungs, they are much more toxic than carbon black and can be more toxic than quartz, which is considered a serious occupational health hazard in chronic inhalation exposures. (+info)
Comparative pulmonary toxicity assessment of single-wall carbon nanotubes in rats.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute lung toxicity of intratracheally instilled single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) in rats. The lungs of rats were instilled either with 1 or 5 mg/kg of the following control or particle types: (1) SWCNT, (2) quartz particles (positive control), (3) carbonyl iron particles (negative control), (4) phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) + 1% Tween 80, or (5) graphite particles (lung tissue studies only). Following exposures, the lungs of PBS and particle-exposed rats were assessed using bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid biomarkers and cell proliferation methods, and by histopathological evaluation of lung tissue at 24 h, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months postinstillation. Exposures to high-dose (5 mg/kg) SWCNT produced mortality in ~15% of the SWCNT-instilled rats within 24 h postinstillation. This mortality resulted from mechanical blockage of the upper airways by the instillate and was not due to inherent pulmonary toxicity of the instilled SWCNT particulate. Exposures to quartz particles produced significant increases versus controls in pulmonary inflammation, cytotoxicity, and lung cell parenchymal cell proliferation indices. Exposures to SWCNT produced transient inflammatory and cell injury effects. Results from the lung histopathology component of the study indicated that pulmonary exposures to quartz particles (5 mg/kg) produced dose-dependent inflammatory responses, concomitant with foamy alveolar macrophage accumulation and lung tissue thickening at the sites of normal particle deposition. Pulmonary exposures to carbonyl iron or graphite particles produced no significant adverse effects. Pulmonary exposures to SWCNT in rats produced a non-dose-dependent series of multifocal granulomas, which were evidence of a foreign tissue body reaction and were nonuniform in distribution and not progressive beyond 1 month postexposure (pe). The observation of SWCNT-induced multifocal granulomas is inconsistent with the following: (1) lack of lung toxicity by assessing lavage parameters, (2) lack of lung toxicity by measuring cell proliferation parameters, (3) an apparent lack of a dose response relationship, (4) nonuniform distribution of lesions, (5) the paradigm of dust-related lung toxicity effects, (6) possible regression of effects over time. In addition, the results of two recent exposure assessment studies indicate very low aerosol SWCNT exposures at the workplace. Thus, the physiological relevance of these findings should ultimately be determined by conducting an inhalation toxicity study. (+info)
A multi-wall carbon nanotubes-dicetyl phosphate electrode for the determination of hypoxanthine in fish.
An enzymeless sensor based on a multi-walled carbon nanotubes-dicetyl phosphate (MWCNT-DCP) film modified vitreous carbon electrode was developed for the determination of hypoxanthine. The MWCNT-DCP film modified electrode showed a remarkable enhancement effect on the oxidation peak current of hypoxanthine. Under the optimized conditions, the oxidation peak current is proportional to the concentration of hypoxanthine over the range from 5.0 x 10(-7) to 2.0 x 10(-4) mol L(-1) with a detection limit (S/N = 3) of 2.0 x 10(-7) mol L(-1). The MWCNT-DCP film modified electrode has been successfully used to detect hypoxanthine in fish samples. (+info)