Selective Biotemplated Synthesis of TiO2 Inside a Protein Cage
journal contributionposted on 12.01.2015, 00:00 by Gregory J. Bedwell, Ziyou Zhou, Masaki Uchida, Trevor Douglas, Arunava Gupta, Peter E. Prevelige
Biological organisms have evolved tremendous control over the synthesis of inorganic materials in aqueous solutions at standard conditions. Such control over material properties is difficult to achieve with current synthesis strategies. Biotemplated synthesis of materials has been demonstrated to be efficient at facilitating the formation of various inorganic species. In this study, we employ a protein cage-based system to synthesize photoactive TiO2 nanoparticles less than 10 nm in diameter. We also demonstrate phase control over the material, with the ability to synthesize both anatase and rutile TiO2 using distinct biomineralization peptides within the protein cage. Finally, using analytical ultracentrifugation, we are able to resolve distinct reaction products and approximate their loading. We find that two distinct species comprise the reaction products, likely representing procapsid-like particles with early, precursor metal oxide clusters, and shells nearly full with crystalline TiO2 nanoparticles, respectively.