Stable and robust polymer nanotubes stretched from polymersomes

Joseph Reiner, Jeffrey Wells, Rani Kishore, Candace Pfefferkorn, Kristian Helmerson

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38 Citations (Scopus)


We create long polymer nanotubes by directly pulling on the membrane of polymersomes using either optical tweezers or a micropipette. The polymersomes are composed of amphiphilic diblock copolymers, and the nanotubes formed have an aqueous core connected to the aqueous interior of the polymersome. We stabilize the pulled nanotubes by subsequent chemical cross-linking. The cross-linked nanotubes are extremely robust and can be moved to another medium for use elsewhere. We demonstrate the ability to form networks of polymer nanotubes and polymersomes by optical manipulation. The aqueous core of the polymer nanotubes together with their robust character makes them interesting candidates for nanofluidics and other applications in biotechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173 - 1177
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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