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1.D.64 The Carbon Nanotube (CarNT) Family 

Carbon nanotubes (CarNTs), small segments of carbon nanotubes capable of forming defined pores in lipid membranes, are important future components for bionanoelectronic devices as they can provide a robust analog of biological membrane channels. In order to control the incorporation of these CarNT channels into lipid bilayers, Tran et al. 2016; employed a noninvasive in situ probe, small-angle X-ray scattering, to study the integration of CarNTs  into dioleoylphosphatidylcholine bilayers. They showed that CarNTs in solution are stabilized by a monolayer of lipid molecules wrapped around their outer surface. They also demonstrated that insertion of CarNTs into the lipid bilayer results in decreased bilayer thickness with the magnitude of this effect increasing with the concentration of CarNTs.  CarNTs have been used to treat brain tumors and degenerative diseases because of their abilities to cross the blood-brain barrier (Kafa et al. 2016). Single-walled carbon nanotubes are used in the near infrared -mediated thermal ablation of tumor cells because they efficiently convert absorbed readiation into heat (Murali et al. 2016). Subcellular locations determine the efficacy of thermal ablation,  For example, incorporation into the plasma membrane is not as effective as an equivalent amount internalized within endosomal/lysosomal vesicles.

Carbon nanotube porins (CarNTPs) are 10- to 20-nm-long segments of lipid-stabilized single-walled carbon nanotubes that insert into phospholipid membranes to form nanometer-scale-diameter pores that approximate the geometry and many key transport characteristics of biological membrane channels. Tunuguntla et al. 2016 described protocols for CarNTP synthesis by ultrasound-assisted cutting of long CarNTs in the presence of lipid amphiphiles, and for validation of CarNTP incorporation into a lipid membrane using a proton permeability assay. They also described protocols for measuring conductance of individual CarNTPs in planar lipid bilayers and plasma membranes of live cells. These CarNTPs remain stable and active for at least 10-12 weeks.

Membrane-spanning CarNTs can trigger spontaneous fusion of small lipid vesicles (Bhaskara et al. 2017). In coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, CarNT bridging between two vesicles locally perturbs their lipid structure. Their outer leaflets merge as the CarNT pulls lipids out of the membranes, creating an hourglass-shaped fusion intermediate with intact inner leaflets. As the CarNT moves away from the symmetry axis connecting the vesicle centers, the inner leaflets merge, forming a pore that completes fusion (Bhaskara et al. 2017).

References associated with 1.D.64 family:

Bhaskara, R.M., S.M. Linker, M. Vögele, J. Köfinger, and G. Hummer. (2017). Carbon Nanotubes Mediate Fusion of Lipid Vesicles. ACS Nano. [Epub: Ahead of Print] 28103440
Kafa, H., J.T. Wang, and K.T. Al-Jamal. (2016). Current Perspective of Carbon Nanotubes Application in Neurology. Int Rev Neurobiol 130: 229-263. 27678179
Murali, V.S., R. Wang, C.A. Mikoryak, P. Pantano, and R.K. Draper. (2016). The impact of subcellular location on the near infrared-mediated thermal ablation of cells by targeted carbon nanotubes. Nanotechnology 27: 425102. 27632056
Tran, I.C., R.H. Tunuguntla, K. Kim, J.R. Lee, T.M. Willey, T.M. Weiss, A. Noy, and T. van Buuren. (2016). Structure of Carbon Nanotube Porins in Lipid Bilayers: An in Situ Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) Study. Nano Lett. [Epub: Ahead of Print] 27322135
Tunuguntla, R.H., A. Escalada, V. A Frolov, and A. Noy. (2016). Synthesis, lipid membrane incorporation, and ion permeability testing of carbon nanotube porins. Nat Protoc 11: 2029-2047. 27658016