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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Feb 1;128(4):1046-7.

Directed assembly of carbon nanotubes at liquid-liquid interfaces: nanoscale conveyors for interfacial biocatalysis.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180, USA.


We report that single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) can be directed to aqueous-organic interfaces with the aid of surfactants. This phenomenon can also be used to transport enzymes to the interface to effect biphasic biotransformations. Consequently, SWNT-enzyme conjugates enhance the rate of catalysis by up to 3 orders of magnitude relative to the rates obtained with native enzymes in similar biphasic systems. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this concept can be extended to other nanomaterials and other enzymes, thereby providing a general strategy for efficient interfacial biocatalysis. The ability to direct the assembly of nanotubes at the interface also provides an attractive route to organizing these nanomaterials into 2D architectures.

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