Method to Synthesize Nanotubes for Further Fabrication of Novel Materials

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The Technology

The food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are constantly looking for novel absorbents that can reduce the cost of purification. The inner and outer walls of open, hollow nanotubes can be used as adsorption sites to improve surface area capacity. Previously, Dr. Zhong and research team identified that cylindrical micelles of Acid Red 1 are promising templates to synthesize polypyrrole nanotubes. Dr. Zhong has now developed a method to further manipulate polypyrrole nanotubes so that use can be achieved for different ligands with densities that can be manipulated. These ligands enable purification mechanisms of anion and cation exchanges, metal affinity, and biological affinity. The functionalized nanotubes can be directly used as adsorbents in column chromatography or further engineered to have magnetic properties enabling recovery by a magnetic field. These nanotubes also can be used in applications other than purification to enhance surface area per unit mass.

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