Templated Nanoparticle Synthesis
Gold nanoparticles (left) are formed when proteins (squiggly lines on right) reduce, bind, and aggregate individual gold ions (circles on right). The primary benefit to forming nanoparticles this way is that these nanoparticles are biocompatible and have potential uses in biotechnological applications. The Biomaterial Design Labs will be using a bovine serum albumin (BSA) fusion protein to promote nanoparticle synthesis.
Chemical Modification of Nanoparticles
The fusion protein we are using contains BSA attached to an intein (dark gray squiggles). The intein protein promotes chemistry whereby the a new protein, under the right conditions, can take the place of the intein. The Biomaterial Design Labs will be replacing the intein with GFP (gray cylinder), green fluorescent protein.
Creation of Protein Film
The GFP-conjugated nanoparticles will be placed in a protein-based film. The students in the Biomaterial Design Lab will use this template to explore new material chemistry and potential applications that take advantage of the chemistry that we are developing.