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Langmuir. 2010 Aug 17;26(16):13436-41. doi: 10.1021/la102446n.

Microfluidic fabrication of hydrogel microparticles containing functionalized viral nanotemplates.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155, USA.


We demonstrate rapid microfluidic fabrication of hybrid microparticles composed of functionalized viral nanotemplates directly embedded in polymeric hydrogels. Specifically, genetically modified tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) templates were covalently labeled with fluorescent markers or metalized with palladium (Pd) nanoparticles (Pd-TMV) and then suspended in a poly(ethylene glycol)-based solution. Upon formation in a flow-focusing device, droplets were photopolymerized with UV light to form microparticles. Fluorescence and confocal microscopy images of microparticles containing fluorescently labeled TMV show uniform distribution of TMV nanotemplates throughout the microparticles. Catalytic activity, via the dichromate reduction reaction, is also demonstrated with microparticles containing Pd-TMV complexes. Additionally, Janus microparticles were fabricated containing viruses embedded in one side and magnetic nanoparticles in the other, which enabled simple separation from bulk solution. These results represent a facile route to directly harness the advantages of viral nanotemplates into a readily usable and stable 3D assembled format.

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