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Biogenic Synthesis of Metallic Nanoparticles by Plant ..

Using encapsulins will allow for the simultaneous presentation of different metal-precipitating peptides on the compartment inside and outside based on capsid protein and TP fusions. This will enable us to generate new composite materials and nano-alloys in vivo and in vitro not found in nature that could be used as inorganic catalysts, electrodes, photovoltaic and magnetic materials and photonic nano-devices. Genetically encoding the synthesis of functional nanomaterials would allow advanced applications as non-invasive biological sensing and control systems. Using biology would also enable us to combinatorially integrate mutational screens of capsid proteins and metal-binding/precipitating peptides and media compositions resulting in the high-throughput synthesis of inorganics, an approach not feasible using classical inorganic chemistry due to the extremes in temperature and pressure involved. Another distinguishing feature compared to inorganic chemistry is the ability of biological systems to generate non-equilibrium structures and materials with unique properties. Using TPs, it would also be possible to specifically embed one or multiple enzymes inside an inorganic nanoparticle of defined size leading to porous organic-inorganic hybrid-materials.

This review is concerned with the synthesis of metallic nanoparticles using plant extracts

Because of its high water content and polymer network, peptide hydrogel is a promising material for protein storage and transfer without significant loss of their biological activity. These hydrogels have potential as injectable materials for medical applications. Using instruments at EMSL, scientists from PNNL Kansas State University and the University of Nebraska used two native functional sequences from spider flagelliform silk protein and a trans-membrane motif of human muscle L-type calcium channel to design a self-assembling peptide, h9e.

Biogenic Synthesis of Metallic Nanoparticles by ..

Figure 8: Using engineered encapsulins for the biological synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials (here: silver nanoparticles).

Giessen, TW, Silver, PA. (2016). Converting a natural protein compartment into a nanofactor for the size-constrained synthesis of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles. ACS Synth. Biol. 5(12), 1497-1504.

For medicines, silver and silver nanoparticles have wide application in skin ointments and creams containing silver to prevent infection of burns and open wounds.


In a first study, we were able to employ encapsulins for the size-constrained synthesis of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles (Figure 8).

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