Self-Organizing Biomolecular Materials as Structural and Patterning Elements for Device Fabrication
Department of Defense
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97 Dorcar Rd, Newton, MA, 02159
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Dr. Parshuram Rath
AbstractThe engineering of materials on a nanometer scale is an important technological goal which would facilitate the development of a new generation of materials and devices. A variety of biological membranes exhibit self-assembly into 2-D arrays including the purple membrane from Halobacteria salinarium and the S-layer from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Methods have been developed to use these membranes as patterning elements and templates for device fabrication. In addition, conditions have been found where self-assembled membranes are stable up to 140 degrees Celsius. In Phase I AmberGen, Inc. will evaluate several new methods for characterizing and controlling self-assembly in these systems. These methods include: i) genetic engineering and in vitro production of self-assembling proteins with novel features for device fabrication; ii) site-specific incorporation of special linker molecules into proteins for the regulation of self-assembly, attachment to device substrates, co-crystallization of other biologically active proteins and patterning within a self-assembled array; iii) attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy for investigating the link between biomolecular structure and macroscopic self-assembly.
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