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Issue 48, 2013
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Engineered clathrin nanoreactors provide tunable control over gold nanoparticle synthesis and clustering

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Abstract

The use of biomolecules to direct nanomaterial synthesis has been an area of growing interest due to the complexity of structures that can be achieved in naturally occurring systems. We previously reported the functionalization of self-assembled clathrin protein cages to enable synthesis of nanoparticles from a range of inorganic materials. Here, we investigate the ability of this engineered biomolecule complex to act as a tunable nanoreactor for the formation of different arrangements of gold nanoparticles in three dimensions. We find that self-assembled clathrin cages functionalized with engineered bi-functional peptides induce formation of gold nanoparticles to generate solutions of either dispersed or clustered gold nanoparticles on demand. The 3D arrangement of nanoparticles is dependent on the concentration of the engineered peptide, which fulfills multiple roles in the synthesis process including stabilization of the nanoparticle surface and localization of the nanoparticles within the self-assembled clathrin cage. We propose and evaluate a mechanism that allows us to predict the peptide concentration at which the nanoreactor behavior switches. This work provides insight into peptide-based surfactants and the potential for incorporating them into strategies for tuning biological mineralization processes in mild solution conditions to generate complex structures.

Graphical abstract: Engineered clathrin nanoreactors provide tunable control over gold nanoparticle synthesis and clustering

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Aug 2013, accepted on 25 Oct 2013 and first published on 04 Nov 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21145B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013,1, 6662-6669
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    Engineered clathrin nanoreactors provide tunable control over gold nanoparticle synthesis and clustering

    A. P. Schoen, K. N. L. Huggins and S. C. Heilshorn, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 6662
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21145B

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