Supported lipid bilayer/carbon nanotube hybrids

Xinjian Zhou, Jose M. Moran-Mirabal, Harold G. Craighead, Paul L. McEuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Carbon nanotube transistors combine molecular-scale dimensions with excellent electronic properties, offering unique opportunities for chemical and biological sensing. Here, we form supported lipid bilayers over single-walled carbon nanotube transistors. We first study the physical properties of the nanotube/supported lipid bilayer structure using fluorescence techniques. Whereas lipid molecules can diffuse freely across the nanotube, a membrane-bound protein (tetanus toxin) sees the nanotube as a barrier. Moreover, the size of the barrier depends on the diameter of the nanotube-with larger nanotubes presenting bigger obstacles to diffusion. We then demonstrate detection of protein binding (streptavidin) to the supported lipid bilayer using the nanotube transistor as a charge sensor. This system can be used as a platform to examine the interactions of single molecules with carbon nanotubes and has many potential applications for the study of molecular recognition and other biological processes occurring at cell membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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