The assignee for this patent, patent number 8617869, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to nano-scaffolds, and more specifically, to genetically engineered nanoscale metal reactive surfaces that are useful in nano-devices, including sensors, solar cells, batteries, electrodes, transistors, semiconductor chips and capacitors.
"High surface area nanostructured materials have uses in an array of applications including electrodes, catalyst supports, thermal barriers, sensor arrays and energy storage devices. Increased surface areas are generally achieved through the synthesis of particles with high surface to volume ratios or the manufacture of nanostructured materials from bulk substrates..sup.1, 2 Methods used to create high surface area nanostructures, such as laser ionization or lithography, generally require complex and expensive technologies that can limit the application of these materials. To avoid such limitations, researchers are increasingly investigating alternative methods for the self-assembly of high surface area nanostructured.sup.9 materials and devices. One approach is templating materials onto biologically derived substrates. Biological templates such as nucleic acids and viruses have evolved to self-assemble into hierarchically ordered structures with high surface to volume aspects, making them ideal for the synthesis of high surface area nanomaterials.
"Previous studies have functionalized DNA.sup.3, virus particles and protein tubules.sup.5-8 using a variety of methods to produce field effect transistors.sup.9, battery electrodes.sup.10 and memory devices.sup.11. Recent work has shown that electrostatically induced alignments of uniform macromolecules such as viruses can be used to produce two-dimensional monolayers of biological templates.sup.12. However, the assembly and surface attachment of biologicals has primarily relied on the random association of bio-templates onto device surfaces. The use of biological components in nanostructured materials also requires the development of strategies to functionalize these components upon assembly.
"One area of particular interest is the development of methods to obtain continuous and uniform coatings of reactive metals. Most deposition strategies rely on the reduction of metal directly onto the surface of the biological template..sup.13-18 This methodology typically produces discrete metal particles that decorate the surface of the bio-template, but often lack the uniformity needed to produce highly conductive surfaces. As such, the arbitrary nature of this process can limit the usefulness of bio-templates in device assembly and represents a significant obstacle in creating high surface area nanostructured materials.
"Thus, there is a need to develop new methodologies for the oriented and uniform assembly of bio-templates that easily adhere to device surfaces and also provide uniformity of metal surfaces to produce highly conductive surfaces."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention relates to nanoscale devices comprising a genetically engineered virus that provides for active sites to interact and adhere to a metal surface and also provide a template for deposition of conductive metal clusters.
"Specifically, in one aspect the present invention relates to nanoscale electrodes, wherein the electrodes comprise a genetically engineered Tobacco mosaic virus TMV including genetically introduced amino acid residues that provide a template for deposition of conductive metal clusters.
"In another aspect, the present invention provides for a method of preparing a Tobacco mosaic virus having a plurality of genetically introduced amino acid residues for selective binding to a gold surface and also providing a reactive template for deposition of metal clusters to provide a high surface electrode. Preferably, the metal clusters include nickel or cobalt.
"In a still further aspect, the present invention provides for an electrode comprising a substrate having a gold surface deposited thereon and a multiplicity of modified Tobacco mosaic viruses (TMV) positioned on the gold surface, wherein the modified TMVs comprise genetically introduced amino acid residues that provide a deposition site for nickel containing metallic cluster, wherein the introduction of the additional amino acid residues provide an increased metallic surface relative to a TMV without the genetically introduced amino acid residues.
"Preferably the genetically introduced amino acid residue is at least one cysteine introduced to each subunit making up the TMV. Notably, the genetically introduced amino acid residues provide for selective binding to a gold surface and also provide a reactive template for deposition of conductive metallic clusters for an increased conductive surface.
"Another aspect of the present invention provides for a nanoscale electrode comprising: a) a substrate surface having at least one area of gold deposited thereon; b) a multiplicity of genetically engineered Tobacco mosaic viruses TMV connected to deposited gold, wherein each of the genetically engineered Tobacco mosaic viruses comprises a multiplicity of subunits, wherein at least one of the subunits comprises at least one additional thiol containing amino acid residue; and c) a metallic conductive coating deposited on and connected to the at least one additional thiol containing amino acid residue of the genetically engineered Tobacco mosaic virus to generate metallic coated TMV virus.
"Preferably, the additional thiol containing amino acid residue is a cysteine and the metallic conductive coating is nickel or cobalt having a thickness of from about 15 to 40 nm. Notably, the substrate surface may include a patterned, unpatterned, semicontinuous or continuous metallic surface.
"In yet another aspect, the present invention provides for metallic nanotubes comprising genetically modified Tobacco mosaic viruses TMV core comprising recombinantly introduced amino acid residues for selective binding of a metallic coating to such amino acid residues. Preferably, a plurality of the metallic nanotubes are fused to a surface.
"Another aspect of the present invention provides a method of preparing a nanoscale device having electrical conductivity, the method comprising the steps of: (1) providing a substrate surface; (2) providing a genetically modified Tobacco mosaic virus TMV core comprising at least one recombinantly introduced thiol containing amino acid residue in at least one subunit of the Tobacco mosaic virus, wherein the thiol containing amino acid residue is positioned and/or exposed on the outer surface of the TMV core; (3) connecting at least one area of the genetically modified Tobacco mosaic virus TMV core to the substrate surface; (4) reacting the one or more thiol containing amino acid residue with an activation solution to form charged thiol containing amino acid residue; and (5) reacting the charged thiol containing amino acid residue with a solution comprising a metallic plating solution for metal deposition on the thiol containing amino acid residue to provide a metallic conductive coating.
"A still further aspect of the present invention provides compositions comprising nanostructures of the present invention adhering to a substrate that can be any geometric shape including spherical, triangular, planar, rectangular, etc and retained in a composition, wherein the nanostructures are substantially monodisperse in length, width, or length and width.
"Other aspects and advantages of the invention will be more fully apparent from the ensuing disclosure and appended claims."
For more information, see this patent:
Keywords for this news article include: Nickel, Viruses, Nanotube, Peptides, Proteins, Virology, Nanoscale, Amino Acids, Bioengineering, Nanostructural, Nanostructures, Nanotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Transition Elements, Emerging Technologies,
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