Enzyme-assisted self-assembly under thermodynamic control

Richard Williams, Andrew Smith, Richard Collins, Nigel Hodson, Apurba Das, Rein Vincent Ulijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

345 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The production of functional molecular architectures through self-assembly is commonplace in biology, but despite advances1, 2, 3, it is still a major challenge to achieve similar complexity in the laboratory. Self-assembled structures that are reproducible and virtually defect free are of interest for applications in three-dimensional cell culture4, 5, templating6, biosensing7 and supramolecular electronics. Here, we report the use of reversible enzyme-catalysed reactions to drive self-assembly. In this approach, the self-assembly of aromatic short peptide derivatives9, 10 provides a driving force that enables a protease enzyme to produce building blocks in a reversible and spatially confined manner. We demonstrate that this system combines three features: (i) self-correction—fully reversible self-assembly under thermodynamic control; (ii) component-selection—the ability to amplify the most stable molecular self-assembly structures in dynamic combinatorial libraries11, 12, 13; and (iii) spatiotemporal confinement of nucleation and structure growth. Enzyme-assisted self-assembly therefore provides control in bottom-up fabrication of nanomaterials that could ultimately lead to functional nanostructures with enhanced complexities and fewer defects.
LanguageEnglish
Pages19-24
Number of pages6
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Volume4
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Fingerprint

Self assembly
self assembly
enzymes
Enzymes
Thermodynamics
thermodynamics
Defects
protease
defects
biology
Nanostructured materials
Peptides
peptides
Nanostructures
Peptide Hydrolases
Nucleation
Electronic equipment
nucleation
Fabrication
fabrication

Keywords

  • thermodynamic control
  • self-assembly
  • enzymes
  • supramolecular electronics

Cite this

Williams, Richard ; Smith, Andrew ; Collins, Richard ; Hodson, Nigel ; Das, Apurba ; Ulijn, Rein Vincent. / Enzyme-assisted self-assembly under thermodynamic control. In: Nature Nanotechnology. 2009 ; Vol. 4, No. 1. pp. 19-24.
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Williams, R, Smith, A, Collins, R, Hodson, N, Das, A & Ulijn, RV 2009, 'Enzyme-assisted self-assembly under thermodynamic control' Nature Nanotechnology, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 19-24. https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2008.378

Enzyme-assisted self-assembly under thermodynamic control. / Williams, Richard ; Smith, Andrew; Collins, Richard; Hodson, Nigel; Das, Apurba; Ulijn, Rein Vincent.

In: Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 4, No. 1, 01.01.2009, p. 19-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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