S-Layers as Templates in the Formation of Two-Dimensional Nanoscale Patterns

Dietmar Pum, Nicola Ilk, Bernd Schuster, and Uwe B. Sleytr

Center for NanoBiotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, 1180 Vienna, Austria

e-mail: dietmar.pum@boku.ac.at

URL: http://www.biotec.boku.ac.at/332.html


One of the most challenging research areas is currently found at the interface between biology and physics. In particular, bottom fabrication and self-assembly of molecular building locks has grown into a scientific and engineering discipline crossing the boundaries of several established fields.

Two-dimensional bacterial surface layer proteins (S-layer proteins), isolated from prokaryotic organisms (bacteria and archaea), have the intrinsic tendency to self-assembly into two-dimensional arrays in suspension, at solid supports (e.g. silicon wafers), at the air-water interface, at floating lipid monolayers and at vesicles (liposomes and nanocapsules).

This presentation is focussing on the reassembly of native and genetically functionalized S-layer proteins on solid supports and, in particular, on their use as matrices for the templated assembly of molecules and nanoparticles into highly ordered superlattices. S-layer fusion proteins with different functionalities play the key role in this approach. This concept is of a more general nature and is currently used in the development of new affinity matrices, diagnostics, vaccines, biocompatible surfaces, microcarriers, and biological templating, or specific biomineralisation strategies on surfaces.