Synthesis, lipid membrane incorporation, and ion permeability testing of carbon nanotube porins

Ramya H. Tunuguntla, Artur Escalada, Vadim A Frolov, Aleksandr Noy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Carbon nanotube porins (CNTPs) are 10- to 20-nm-long segments of lipid-stabilized single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that can be inserted into phospholipid membranes to form nanometer-scale-diameter pores that approximate the geometry and many key transport characteristics of biological membrane channels. We describe protocols for CNTP synthesis by ultrasound-assisted cutting of long CNTs in the presence of lipid amphiphiles, and for validation of CNTP incorporation into a lipid membrane using a proton permeability assay. In addition, we describe protocols for measuring conductance of individual CNTPs in planar lipid bilayers and plasma membranes of live cells. The protocol for the preparation and testing of the CNTPs in vesicle systems takes 3 d, and single CNTP conductance measurements take 2-5 h. The CNTPs produced by this cutting protocol remain stable and active for at least 10-12 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2029-2047
Number of pages19
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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