Use of Protein Cages as a Template for Confined Synthesis of Inorganic and Organic Nanoparticles
Protein cages are hollow spherical proteins assembled from a defined number of subunits. Because they are extremely homogeneous in size and structure, their interior cavities can serve as ideal templates to encapsulate and synthesize well-defined nanoparticles. Here, we describe the exemplary synthesis of a hard and a soft material in two representative protein cages, i.e., magnetite nanoparticles in ferritin and a poly(2-aminoethyl)methacrylate inside a viral capsid derived from the bacteriophage P22.
Key wordsProtein cages Ferritin Viral capsid Biomineralization Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)
This work was supported with grants from the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Science and Engineering DE-FG02-07ER46477 (for the inorganic nanoparticle work) and the National Institutes of Health NIAID R01AI104905 (for the polymer work).
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