Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)

Fabrication and characterization of bioactive thiol-silicate nanoparticles.

PMID 21553188


Here we describe a new method for the production of thiol-silicate particles and the entrapment of enzymes within the thiol particles as they are formed. When bio-inspired polymers (polyethyleneimine) are combined with a silicic acid source and phosphate buffer under pH neutral conditions, formation of silicate particles occurs. In the method presented here the silica source contains a thiol group and so therefore the silicate particles are pre-functionalized with thiol groups. We have termed the silicate particles produced "thiol particles" and the characterization of these thiol particles is also presented in this chapter. As enzymes can be entrapped during fabrication, it means that the thiol particles can not only attach to metal surfaces but also catalyse certain reactions depending on the enzyme used. This means that there are many future possibilities for the use of thiol particles containing enzymes, as they may be used in a wide range of processes and devices which require catalytic functionalized surfaces, such as biosensors and biocatalytic reactors.