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We have determined the mechanical anisotropy of a single microtubule by simultaneously measuring the Young's and the shear moduli in vitro. This was achieved by elastically deforming the microtubule deposited on a substrate tailored by electron-beam lithography with a tip of an atomic force microscope. The shear modulus is 2 orders of magnitude lower than(More)
We exploit the remarkable low-friction bearing capabilities of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) to realize nanoelectromechanical switches. Our switches consist of two open-ended MWNT segments separated by a nanometer-scale gap. Switching occurs through electrostatically actuated sliding of the inner nanotube shells to close the gap, producing a(More)
The cytoskeleton, composed of actin filaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules, is a highly dynamic supramolecular network actively involved in many essential biological mechanisms such as cellular structure, transport, movements, differentiation, and signaling. As a first step to characterize the biophysical changes associated with cytoskeleton(More)
The pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) consist of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in affected brain areas. The processes, which drive this host reaction are unknown. To determine whether an analogous host reaction to that occurring in AD could be induced by infectious agents, we exposed mammalian glial and neuronal cells in(More)
An important issue in nanoelectromechanical systems is developing small electrically driven motors. We report on an artificial nanofabricated motor in which one short carbon nanotube moves relative to another coaxial nanotube. A cargo is attached to an ablated outer wall of a multiwalled carbon nanotube that can rotate and/or translate along the inner(More)
At present, nanofilaments are not exclusively based on carbon atoms but can be produced from many inorganic materials in the form of nanotubes and nanowires. It is essential to systematically assess the acute toxicity of these newly synthesized materials since it cannot be predicted from the known toxicity of the same material in another form. Here, the(More)
Observation of the Brownian motion of a small probe interacting with its environment provides one of the main strategies for characterizing soft matter. Essentially, two counteracting forces govern the motion of the Brownian particle. First, the particle is driven by rapid collisions with the surrounding solvent molecules, referred to as thermal noise.(More)
Carbon nanotube material can now be produced in macroscopic quantities. However, the raw material has a disordered structure, which restricts investigations of both the properties and applications of the nanotubes. A method has been developed to produce thin films of aligned carbon nanotubes. The tubes can be aligned either parallel or perpendicular to the(More)
Thermal position fluctuations of a colloidal particle in an optical trap are measured with microsecond resolution using back-focal-plane interferometry. The mean-square displacement <Delta(x)2(t)> and power spectral density are in excellent agreement with the theory for a Brownian particle in a harmonic potential that accounts for hydrodynamic memory(More)
We report electrical transport experiments, using the phenomenon of electrical breakdown to perform thermometry, that probe the thermal properties of individual multiwalled carbon nanotubes. Our results show that nanotubes can readily conduct heat by ballistic phonon propagation. We determine the thermal conductance quantum, the ultimate limit to thermal(More)