Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.131, No.8, 2840-2845, 2009
Manipulating Biomolecules with Aqueous Liquids Confined within Single-Walled Nanotubes
Confinement of molecules inside nanoscale pores has become an important method for exploiting new dynamics not happening in bulk systems and for fabricating novel structures. Molecules that are encapsulated in nanopores are difficult to control with respect to their position and activity. On the basis of molecular dynamics simulations, we have achieved controllable manipulation, both in space and time, of biomolecules with aqueous liquids inside a single-walled nanotube by using an external charge or a group of external charges. The remarkable manipulation abilities are attributed to the single-walled structure of the nanotube that the electrostatic interactions of charges inside and outside the single-walled nanotube are strong enough, and the charge-induced dipole-orientation ordering of water confined in the nanochannel so that water has a strong interaction with the external charge. These designs are expected to serve as lab-in-nanotube for the interactions and chemical reactions of molecules especially biomolecules, and have wide applications in nanotechnology and biotechnology.