Milk nanotubes: technology and potential applications
C. G. (Kees) de Kruif, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Self-assembly of nanostructures is of great importance to the field of nanotechnology. Bottom-up fabrication of supramolecular structures is of special interest as it allows the construction and control of predesigned structures. Proteins are very prone to self-assembly in view of their amphiphilic nature. Unstructured self-assembly occurs on denaturation and subsequent aggregation. Structured self-assembly of proteins occurs in microtubules, virus capsids, actin and protein crystals. Here the first man-made tubular protein structures are described as formed from (slightly) hydrolyzed α-lactalbumin, a milk protein. ...