Proteins: Structure and Interaction Patterns to Solid Surfaces


Thomas J. Webster Department of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University

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Advances in several critical research fields (processing, catalytic, optical, actuation, electrical, mechanical fields, etc.) have started to benefit from new technological advancements in the area of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology can be broadly defined as the use of materials and systems whose structures and components exhibit novel and significantly changed properties when control is gained at the atomic, molecular, and supramolecular levels. Specifically, such advances have been found for materials when particulate size is decreased to below 100 nm. However, to date, relatively few advantages have been described for biological applications (specifically, those involving protein interactions). This chapter elucidates several promising examples of the control nanophase materials have in manipulating interactions with proteins to improve traditional biological applications (such as for improving implantable devices, filtration systems, bioMEMS, etc.). Such advances were previously unimaginable with conventional materials possessing large micron size particulates. To describe the promise nanophase materials have in revolutionizing interactions with biology, this chapter will start with a review of protein structure and interaction with solid surfaces. The chapter will then continue with reports from the literature providing evidence of unique interactions proteins can have with nanophase materials.