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Pyroelectric peptide microtubes turn heat to electric currents

Many peptides and proteins have an innate ability to assemble into long, slender fibers called fibrils and other shapes. Now, researchers have found a way to harness this property to create tubular structures of diphenylalanine that have the ability to convert thermal energy into electrical energy, also called a pyroelectric effect. Their results, published this week in Applied Physics Letters, report that these nanoscale polymers, which are biocompatible, could have a wide range of biological applications such as for drug delivery scaffolds or miniature implantable sensors.
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