Pham, Tuan Anh
Toroidal Protein Adaptor Assembles Ferrimagnetic Nanoparticle Fibers with Constructive Magnetic Coupling
2017-02, Pham, Tuan Anh, Schreiber, Andreas, Schiller, Stefan M., Cölfen, Helmut
Inspired by nature, the synthesis of biohybrid nanocomposites containing inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) and biopolymers such as DNA and peptides as templates offers great potential for a wide range of applications. Using selective recognition schemes of 3D protein spaces for the assembly of magnetic nanocrystals is a challenge with great promise in the field of biomedicine and magnetic data storage. Here we apply the toroidal protein Hcp1 as an interparticle connector for the directed molecular assembly and ferrimagnetic coupling of biohybrid cobalt ferrite NP wires. The resulting biohybrid NP composites show bundles of nanofibers ranging from nano- to the microscale in length verified by TEM, EDX analysis and focused ion beam cut. Their magnetic characterization reveals an increase of the coercive field (+12%) reaching values of high-end Nd2Fe14B bulk magnets, enhanced saturation (+28%) and remanence magnetization (+38%) at 2 K compared to NPs lacking the protein connector. Thus, the combination of the nanoscale alignment of magnetic NPs with the molecular precision of the protein connectors leads to constructive addition of the magnetization reversal energy. This approach can be used to control magnetic properties for the design of materials with enhanced coercivity applicable for magnetic data storage, hyperthermia and theranostics.
Hemolysin coregulated protein 1 as a molecular gluing unit for the assembly of nanoparticle hybrid structures
2016-03-04, Pham, Tuan Anh, Schreiber, Andreas, Sturm, Elena V., Schiller, Stefan, Cölfen, Helmut
Hybrid nanoparticle (NP) structures containing organic building units such as polymers, peptides, DNA and proteins have great potential in biosensor and electronic applications. The nearly free modification of the polymer chain, the variation of the protein and DNA sequence and the implementation of functional moieties provide a great platform to create inorganic structures of different morphology, resulting in different optical and magnetic properties. Nevertheless, the design and modification of a protein structure with functional groups or sequences for the assembly of biohybrid materials is not trivial. This is mainly due to the sensitivity of its secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure to the changes in the interaction (e.g., hydrophobic, hydrophilic, electrostatic, chemical groups) between the protein subunits and the inorganic material. Here, we use hemolysin coregulated protein 1 (Hcp1) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a building and gluing unit for the formation of biohybrid structures by implementing cysteine anchoring points at defined positions on the protein rim (Hcp1_cys3). We successfully apply the Hcp1_cys3 gluing unit for the assembly of often linear, hybrid structures of plasmonic gold (Au NP), magnetite (Fe3O4 NP), and cobalt ferrite nanoparticles (CoFe2O4 NP). Furthermore, the assembly of Au NPs into linear structures using Hcp1_cys3 is investigated by UV–vis spectroscopy, TEM and cryo-TEM. One key parameter for the formation of Au NP assembly is the specific ionic strength in the mixture. The resulting network-like structure of Au NPs is characterized by Raman spectroscopy, showing surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) by a factor of 8·104 and a stable secondary structure of the Hcp1_cys3 unit. In order to prove the catalytic performance of the gold hybrid structures, they are used as a catalyst in the reduction reaction of 4-nitrophenol showing similar catalytic activity as the pure Au NPs. To further extend the functionality of the Hcp1_cys3 gluing unit, Fe3O4 and CoFe2O4 NPs are aligned in a magnetic field and connected by utilization of cysteine-modified Hcp1. After lyophilization, a fiber-like material of micrometer scale length can be observed. The Fe3O4 Hcp1_cys3 fibers show superparamagnetic behavior with a decreasing blocking temperature and an increasing remanent magnetization leading to a higher squareness value of the hysteresis curve. Thus the Hcp1_cys3 unit is shown to be very versatile in the formation of new biohybrid materials with enhanced magnetic, catalytic and optical properties.