Assembling 3D objects from protein and nanoparticle building blocks
The fascinating efficiency of the cellular machinery is an endless source of inspiration for the design of nanomachines that perform complex tasks autonomously. These nanomachines are protein assemblies in which biorecognition elements and catalytic subunits are organized with exquisite precision in order to concatenate their biomolecular functions. The outstanding efficiency of these nanomachines makes them extremely attractive models for the design of artificial nanodevices that perform complex tasks effortlessly.
We have devised a new method for assembling proteins and gold nanoparticles into hybrid supraparticles. These supraparticles have new, tailorable plasmonic properties derived from the assembly process. They also preserve the biomolecular functions of the protein building blocks, which are also affected by their spational distribution within the supraparticles. This approach will deliver a new family of hybrid bio-inorganic materials for applications in biosensing and drug delivery.