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Lightweight nanomaterial superior to many metals

Posted: 04 Oct 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:nanostructure  nanomaterial  medical implants  bullet-proof vests 

Israeli researchers have created an organic spherical nanomaterial that they claim is lightweight, as strong as steel and environmentally friendly. The nanostructure may be used for medical implants, as construction material or even in the production of bullet-proof vests, they said.

Professor Ehud Gazit, Lihi Adler-Abramovich and Inbal Yanai from Tel Aviv University's Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, with the help of Itay Rousso and Nitzan Kol from the Weizmann Institute and David Barlam and Roni Shneck of Ben-Gurion University, created the spherical material from a simple dipeptide of just two amino acids. The material, they said, is self-assembling under ambient conditions. They added that it is the first bio-inspired nanomaterial equal to or even superior to many metals.

Despite its simple structure, the material displays many of the chemical properties of Kevlar, the material used to make bullet-proof vests. It may be manipulated and deposited at the nanoscale and it may be built in tubular, spherical, and other geometries.

The nanomaterial, described extensively in the journal "Angewandte Chemie", could find extensive uses in a diverse range of industries including the medical, construction, aviation and transportation sectors.

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