Marija Drndic, Jay Kikkawa, Bill DeGrado, and Mike Klein (Temple University)
We have designed specialized protein molecules that organize around carbon nanotubes into an atomistically-predefined pattern. Targeted design of such self-organization is a powerful tool for engineering at the nano scale. For example, we have shown that our protein/nanotube hybrid can be used to generate a regularly-spaced array of gold nano-particle. Shown here is an exciting new concept we are currently pursuing. We believe that our nanotube/protein complexes can be used to create a virus-like particle by nucleating the formation of a membrane mimetic around itself, much like natural enveloped viruses form a lipid membrane bilayer around their protein capsid core.