Bee Venom Helps Detect Explosives

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 11 May 2011
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci./National Academy of Sciences
thumbnail image: Bee Venom Helps Detect Explosives

Michael Strano and co-workers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, have developed a new sensor for trace explosives in the air.

They coated carbon nanotubes with peptides from the bombolitin family, found in bee venom. When a nitroaromate binds to the bombolitin, the modulation of the secondary proteine structure is reported by changes of the single-walled carbon nanotube. The nanotubes' natural fluorescence shifts wavelength. The sensor was coupled with a split-channel microscope to detect the near-infrared photoluminescence in real time.

The device is more sensitive than ion mobility spectrometers, commonly used at airports. The mechanism ilustrates that functionalization of the carbon nanotube surface can result in completely unique sites for recognition, resolvable at the single-molecule level.

Article Views: 2804

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission. more

CONNECT: on Facebook on Twitter on YouTube on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter

A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH