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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2005 Dec;5(12):2029-33.

Packaging of gold particles in viral capsids.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.


In-vitro self-assembly conditions known to result in generating infectious virions have been used in vitro to reassemble bromovirus capsid proteins around negatively charged gold nanoparticles cores. We discuss here the optical properties (elastic light scattering) and the influence of the core size and of the functional moiety on the resulting virus-like particles. Our results indicate that the formation of a closed shell, as opposed to an amorphous protein coat, does occur and that the shell/core interactions can be tuned using different coatings on the nanoparticle core. Such studies may lead to real-time monitoring of viral traffic on the scale of a single virus, as well as to the possibility of chemical sensing along the intracellular and intercellular viral pathways and contribute to a better understanding of the virus transport and cellular compartmentalization.

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