Biological surface effects of metallic nanomaterials for applications in assembly and catalysis

Manish Sethi, Dennis B. Pacardo, Marc R. Knecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recent experimental evidence has suggested that bioinspired techniques represent promising avenues toward the production of functional nanomaterials that possess a high degree of activity. These materials are prepared under synthetically simple and efficient conditions, thus making them attractive alternatives to many traditional methods that employ hazardous and harsh conditions. Many biomimetic methods employ peptide and amino acid binding events on the surfaces of nanostructures to generate materials that are stable in solution. The basis of both the stability and activity of these materials is likely to be controlled by the biotic/abiotic interface, which is mediated by the bioligand binding process. Unfortunately, most readily available techniques are unable to be used to study this intrinsic process; however, very recent studies have begun to shed light on this important event. In this feature article, an overview of the understanding of peptide and amino acid binding events to nanomaterials and how these motifs can be exploited for activities in nanoparticle assembly and catalytic reactivity is discussed. From both 2D surface studies and computational modeling analyses, different biomolecule binding characteristics have been elucidated. These results indicate that the amino acid sequence and peptide secondary structure play important roles in the binding capability. Furthermore, these studies suggest that the peptides are able to form specific patterns and motifs once bound to the nanoparticle surface. This attribute could affect the nanoparticle electronics and can play a significant role in their activities to generate functional materials. From these binding motifs, the ability of reagents to interact with the metallic surface is possible, thus affecting many of the properties of these materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15121-15134
Number of pages14
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 5 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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