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Designed self-assembling peptides as templates for the synthesis of metal nanoparticles.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) (2013-03-19)
Emmanouil Kasotakis, Anna Mitraki
ABSTRACT

Self-assembling peptides are water soluble and form biocompatible nanostructures under mild conditions through non-covalent interactions. They form supramolecular structures such as ribbons, nanotubes, and fibrils. Of particular interest is the possibility of using these peptide fibrils as templates for the growth of inorganic materials, such as metallic nanoparticles. The ability to reliably produce metal-coated fibrils with robust binding of metal nanoparticles is a vital first step towards the exploitation of these fibrils as conducting nanowires with applications in nano-circuitry. One promising strategy consists of the rational introduction of metal-binding amino acids (such as cysteine) at the level of the peptide building block. Upon assembly of the building blocks into fibrils, cysteine residues that remain accessible at the outside of the fibril core could serve as nucleation sites for metals. We will review in this chapter a case study of rationally designed cysteine-containing peptides and basic protocols for their metallization with silver, gold, and platinum nanoparticles.

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