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Science. 2011 May 27;332(6033):1071-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1198841.

Computational design of virus-like protein assemblies on carbon nanotube surfaces.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

There is a general need for the engineering of protein-like molecules that organize into geometrically specific superstructures on molecular surfaces, directing further functionalization to create richly textured, multilayered assemblies. Here we describe a computational approach whereby the surface properties and symmetry of a targeted surface define the sequence and superstructure of surface-organizing peptides. Computational design proceeds in a series of steps that encode both surface recognition and favorable intersubunit packing interactions. This procedure is exemplified in the design of peptides that assemble into a tubular structure surrounding single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). The geometrically defined, virus-like coating created by these peptides converts the smooth surfaces of SWNTs into highly textured assemblies with long-scale order, capable of directing the assembly of gold nanoparticles into helical arrays along the SWNT axis.

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