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Monolayer-Protected Nanoparticle Film Assemblies as Platforms for Controlling Interfacial and Adsorption Properties in Protein Monolayer Electrochemistry

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journal contribution
posted on 06.02.2008, 00:00 by Andrew F. Loftus, Katelyn P. Reighard, Susanna A. Kapourales, Michael C. Leopold
Assembled films of nonaqueous nanoparticles, known as monolayer-protected clusters (MPCs), are investigated as adsorption platforms in protein monolayer electrochemistry (PME), a strategy for studying the electron transfer (ET) of redox proteins. Modified electrodes featuring MPC films assembled with various linking methods, including both electrostatic and covalent mechanisms, are employed to immobilize cytochrome c (cyt c) for electrochemical analysis. The background signal (non-Faradaic current) of these systems is directly related to the structure and composition of the MPC films, including nanoparticle core size, protecting ligand properties, as well as the linking mechanism utilized during assembly. Dithiol-linked films of Au225(C6)75 are identified as optimal films for PME by sufficiently discriminating against detrimental background current and exhibiting interfacial properties that are readily engineered for cyt c adsorption and electroactivity (Faradaic current). Surface concentrations and denaturation rates of adsorbed cyt c are dictated by specific manipulation of the individual MPCs composing the outer layer of the film. The use of specially designed, hydrophilic MPCs as a terminal film layer results in near-ideal cyt c voltammetry, attributed to a high degree of molecular level control of the necessary interfacial interactions and flexibility needed to create a uniform and effective binding of protein across large areas of a substrate. The electrochemical properties of cyt c at MPC films, including ET rate constants that are unaffected by the large ET distance introduced by MPC assemblies, are compared to traditional strategies employing self-assembled monolayers to immobilize cyt c. The incorporation of nanoparticles as protein adsorption platforms has implications for biosensor engineering as well as fundamental biological ET studies.