Directly to

 

Bio-inorganic hybrid membranes with nanoporosity control by genetically engineered viral seal rings

[Viropore-Membranes]

 

AOR Dr. Alfred Plettl, University of Ulm; Institute of Solid State Physics, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89081 Ulm
E-Mail

Professor Dr. Othmar Marti, University of Ulm; Institute of Experimental Physics, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89081 Ulm
E-Mail

Dr. Hartmut Gliemann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT); Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG), P.O. Box 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe
E-Mail

Professor Dr. Christina Wege, University of Stuttgart; Institute of Biomaterials and Biomolecular Systems, Dpt. Molecular Biology and Plant Virology, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70569 Stuttgart
E-Mail

Robust bio/inorganic hybrid membranes with extensive arrays of homogenous protein nano-pores: such novel filter media would be of high interest for numerous applications and might be accessible by a fabrication route exploiting both modern nanoscale solid state technologies and biologically optimized material formation on successive levels: Suitable RNA constructs can govern the in vitro self-assembly of genetically encoded tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-derived protein components to stable ring-shaped assemblies (d = 18 nm), with central 4 nm holes. These 'disks' may be equipped with mineral-interacting and mineral deposition-directing peptides, which should make them apt to locate into, and intimately connect with freestanding solid-state membrane (SSM) scaffolds to novel functional units. The protein disks will act as 'pore adaptor inlays'. Their immobilization in conical holes of SSMs will be realized in two steps: (1) The peptide-promoted targeting to a silica domain inside the holes followed by (2) firm gap sealing between protein inlay and inorganic scaffold achieved by protein-guided silica mineralization starting from the outer disk rim, thus serving as a 'bionic glue'. In the case of the membrane templates, the distance between, the diameter of, and the surface chemistry inside the holes can be tightly controlled. TMV disks can be tailored with respect to stability, central pore diameter and charge, and the outer amino acid rim by genetic and chemical modification. Thereby the permeability of the final filters should be adaptable to different target molecules, and their mechanical rigidity to diverse flow devices. The RNA portion of the inlays might enable the design of nucleic acid constructs which we expect to facilitate efficient implantation into SSM pores by electrophoresis. The resulting hybrid membranes would have exceptional performance due to an immense diversity of adjustable parameters, and the multiplicity of uniform pores. The concept implements a one-of-a-kind combination of externally controlled biological and synthetic material preparation steps, integrating self-organization of virus-derived 'nanopore adaptors', their peptide-governed targeting and mineralization, and fabrication of convenient homoporous SSMs.