The Detection of PETN Using a Bulk Single Wall Carbon Nanotube/Peptide System

G. Kubas, W. Rees, J. Caguiat, D. Asch, D. Fagan, P. Cortes
Youngstown State University,
United States

Keywords: explosive detection, carbon nanotubes, phage display


The present research work investigates the novel detection of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a high powered explosive, using peptide surface functionalized single wall carbon nanotubes. Here, through the use of a phage display technique and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), a peptide library was tested against PETNH(pentaerythritol trinitrate hemisuccinate) to determine amino acid sequences with affinity toward the aforementioned explosive. Subsequently, 1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide (EDC) was used to link the peptides produced from the phage display to carboxylated single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) . Simultaneously, PETNH was biotinylated with Biotin-PEG4-Hydrazide using the aforementioned EDC. Results from HABA/Avidin biotin incorporation assays show that the concentration of tagged PETNH in solution decreases when brought into contact with the functionalized SWCNTs. These liquid detection results suggest that the peptide functionalization on the SWCNTs allow for binding of the PETNH. It is expected to use these biologically functionalized carbon nanotubes to develop a solid state PETN nanosensor.