Structural and mechanical study of a self-assembling protein nanotube.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We report a structural characterization of self-assembling nanostructures. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM), we discovered that partially hydrolyzed alpha-lactalbumin organizes in a 10-start helix forming tubes with diameters of only 21 nm. We probed the mechanical strength of these nanotubes by locally indenting them with an AFM tip. To extract the material properties of the nanotubes, we modeled the experiment using finite element methods. Our study shows that artificial helical protein self-assembly can yield very stable, strong structures that can function either as a model system for artificial self-assembly or as a nanostructure with potential for practical applications.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Graveland-Bikker, JF; Schaap, IAT; Schmidt, CF; de Kruif, CG

Published Date

  • April 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 616 - 621

PubMed ID

  • 16608254

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-6992

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1530-6984

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/nl052205h


  • eng