This paper describes a facile approach to a biomimetic rapid fabrication of ultrathin silica nanotubes with a highly uniform diameter of 10 nm and inner hollow of around 3 nm. The synthesis is carried out through a spontaneous polycondensation of alkoxysilane on polyamine crystalline fibrils that were conveniently produced from the neutralization of a solution of protonated linear polyethyleneimine (LPEI–H+) by alkali compounds. A simple mixing the fibrils with alkoxysilane in aqueous solution allowed for the rapid formation of silica to produce LPEI@silica hybrid nanotubes. These 10-nm nanotubes were hierarchically organized in a mat-like morphology with a typical size of 1–2 micrometers. The subsequent removal of organic LPEI via calcination resulted in silica nanotubes that keep this morphology. The morphology, the structure, the pore properties and the formation mechanism of the silica nanotubes were carefully investigated with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller measurements (BET), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Detailed studies demonstrated that the formation of the nanotubes depends on the molar ratio of [OH]/[CH2CH2NH] during the neutralization as well as on the basicity of the alkali compound and on the concentration of the silica source. The synthesis of silica nanotubes established here could be easily applied to a fabrication on the kilogram scale. Silica nanotubes that were obtained from the calcination of hybrid nanotubes of LPEI@silica in an N2 atmosphere showed a distinct photoluminescence centered at 540 nm with a maximum excitation wavelength of 320 nm. Furthermore, LPEI@silica hybrid nanotubes were applied to create silica–carbon composite nanotubes by alternative adsorption of ionic polymers and subsequent carbonization.
biomimetic silicification; polyethyleneimine; silica–carbon nanocomposite; silica nanotubes; template synthesis
We reported recently that the addition of ester-functionalized, ‘charge-shifting’ side chains to linear poly(ethyleneimine) (LPEI) can be used to design polyamines that promote both self-assembly and self-disassembly with DNA in aqueous environments. This investigation sought to characterize the influence of charge-shifting side chains on the ability of LPEI to mediate cell transfection and understand the extent to which increases (or decreases) in levels of transfection could be understood in terms of time-dependent changes in the net charges of these polymers. We report that the addition of ‘charge-shifting’ side chains to LPEI leads to significant increases in levels of LPEI-mediated transfection. In particular, polymer 1e, functionalized with 20 mol% ester-functionalized side chains, mediates levels of transgene expression in vitro up to eight-fold higher than LPEI. Experiments using an amide-functionalized analog of polymer 1e demonstrated that the esters in polymer 1e play an important role in promoting increased levels of transfection. These results, in combination with the results of additional gel electrophoresis experiments, provide support for the view that increases in transfection result from time-dependent changes in the net charge of polymer 1e and the disruption of ionic interactions in polyplexes. Additional support for this view is provided by the results of confocal microscopy experiments and measurements of fluorescence resonance energy transfer, which suggest that polymer 1e promotes the disruption of polyplexes in intracellular environments effectively. The approach reported here provides a means of addressing one important ‘late-stage’ obstacle to polyplex-mediated transfection (polyplex unpackaging). If integrated successfully with methods that have been developed to address other important barriers to transfection, this general approach could lead to the development of multifunctional polyplexes that mimic more effectively the range of functions of viruses as agents for the delivery of DNA.
The biomimetic design of silk/silica fusion proteins was carried out, combining the self assembling domains of spider dragline silk (Nephila clavipes) and silaffin derived R5 peptide of Cylindrotheca fusiformis that is responsible for silica mineralization. Genetic engineering was used to generate the protein-based biomaterials incorporating the physical properties of both components. With genetic control over the nanodomain sizes and chemistry, as well as modification of synthetic conditions for silica formation, controlled mineralized silk films with different silica morphologies and distributions were successfully generated; generating 3D porous networks, clustered silica nanoparticles (SNPs), or single SNPs. Silk serves as the organic scaffolding to control the material stability and multiprocessing makes silk/silica biomaterials suitable for different tissue regenerative applications. The influence of these new silk-silica composite systems on osteogenesis was evaluated with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) subjected to osteogenic differentiation. hMSCs adhered, proliferated, and differentiated towards osteogenic lineages on the silk/silica films. The presence of the silica in the silk films influenced osteogenic gene expression, with the upregulation of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and collagen type 1 (Col 1) markers. Evidence for early bone formation as calcium deposits was observed on silk films with silica. These results indicate the potential utility of these new silk/silica systems towards bone regeneration.
Using high resolution focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) we study the details of cell-nanostructure interactions using serial block face imaging. 3T3 Fibroblast cellular monolayers are cultured on flat glass as a control surface and on two types of nanostructured scaffold substrates made from silicon black (Nanograss) with low- and high nanowire density. After culturing for 72 hours the cells were fixed, heavy metal stained, embedded in resin, and processed with FIB-SEM block face imaging without removing the substrate. The sample preparation procedure, image acquisition and image post-processing were specifically optimised for cellular monolayers cultured on nanostructured substrates. Cells display a wide range of interactions with the nanostructures depending on the surface morphology, but also greatly varying from one cell to another on the same substrate, illustrating a wide phenotypic variability. Depending on the substrate and cell, we observe that cells could for instance: break the nanowires and engulf them, flatten the nanowires or simply reside on top of them. Given the complexity of interactions, we have categorised our observations and created an overview map. The results demonstrate that detailed nanoscale resolution images are required to begin understanding the wide variety of individual cells’ interactions with a structured substrate. The map will provide a framework for light microscopy studies of such interactions indicating what modes of interactions must be considered.
Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to characterize changes in nanoscale structure that occur when ultrathin polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) are incubated in aqueous media. The PEMs investigated here were fabricated by the deposition of alternating layers of plasmid DNA and a hydrolytically degradable polyamine onto a precursor film composed of alternating layers of linear poly(ethylene imine) (LPEI) and sodium poly(styrene sulfonate) (SPS). Past studies of these materials in the context of gene delivery revealed transformations from a morphology that is smooth and uniform to one characterized by the formation of nanometer-scale particulate structures. We demonstrate that in-plane registration of LSCM and AFM images acquired from the same locations of films fabricated using fluorescently labeled polyelectrolytes allows the spatial distribution of individual polyelectrolyte species to be determined relative to the locations of topographic features that form during this transformation. Our results suggest that this physical transformation leads to a morphology consisting of a relatively less disturbed portion of film composed of polyamine and DNA juxtaposed over an array of particulate structures composed predominantly of LPEI and SPS. Characterization by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis provides additional support for this interpretation. The combination of these different microscopy techniques provides insight into the structures and dynamics of these multicomponent thin films that cannot be achieved using any one method alone, and that could prove useful for the further development of these assemblies as platforms for the surface-mediated delivery of DNA.
Thin Films; Nanostructure; Polymers; Layer-by-Layer; DNA Delivery
Biomimetic silica formation is strongly dependent on the presence of cationic amine groups which hydrolyze organosilicate precursors and bind to silicate oligomers. Since most biological species possess anionic surfaces, the dependence on amine groups limits utilization of biotemplates for fabricating materials with specific morphologies and pore structures. Here, we report a general aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) directed method for preparing hollow silica with well-defined morphologies using varying biotemplates (proteins, viruses, flagella, bacteria and fungi). Control experiments, pH evolution measurements and 29Si NMR spectroscopic studies have revealed a mechanism of the assembly of APTES on bio-surfaces with subsequent nucleation and growth of silica. The APTES assembly and nuclei formation on bio-surfaces ensured precise transcription of the morphologies of biotemplates to the resulting silica. This method could be extended to the preparation of other oxides.
Self-assembly represents a robust and powerful paradigm for the bottom-up construction of nanostructures. Templated condensation of silica precursors on self-assembled nanoscale peptide fibrils with various surface functionalities can be used to mimic biosilicification. This template-defined approach toward biomineralization was utilized for the controlled fabrication of 3D hybrid nanostructures. The peptides MAX1 and MAX8 used herein form networks consisting of interconnected, self-assembled β-sheet fibrils. We report a study on the structure–property relationship of self-assembled peptide hydrogels where mineralization of individual fibrils through sol–gel chemistry was achieved. The nanostructure and consequent mechanical characteristics of these hybrid networks can be modulated by changing the stoichiometric parameters of the sol–gel process. The physical characterization of the hybrid networks via electron microscopy and small-angle scattering is detailed and correlated with changes in the network mechanical behavior. The resultant high fidelity templating process suggests that the peptide substrate can be used to template the coating of other functional inorganic materials.
self-assembly; peptide; template; sol–gel; hybrid materials
The nanostructure of silica and hybrid thin film mesophases templated by phospholipids via an evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) process was investigated by grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS). Diacyl phosphatidylcholines with two tails of 6 or 8 carbons were found to template 2D hexagonal mesophases, with the removal of lipid from these lipid/silica films by thermal or UV/O3 processing resulting in a complete collapse of the pore volume. Monoacyl phosphatidylcholines with single tails of 10–14 carbons formed 3D micellular mesophases; the lipid was found to be extractable from these 3D materials, yielding a porous material. In contrast to pure lipid/silica thin film mesophases, films formed from the hybrid bridged silsesquioxane precursor bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane exhibited greater stability toward (both diacyl and monoacyl) lipid removal. Ellipsometric, FTIR, and NMR studies show that the presence of phospholipid suppresses siloxane network formation, while actually promoting condensation reactions in the hybrid material. 1D X-ray scattering and FTIR data were found to be consistent with strong interactions between lipid headgroups and the silica framework.
Biocalcification of collagen matrices with calcium phosphate and biosilicification of diatom frustules with amorphous silica are two discrete processes that have intrigued biologists and materials scientists for decades. Recent advancements in the understanding of the mechanisms involved in these two biomineralisation processes have resulted in the use of biomimetic strategies to replicate these processes separately using polyanionic, polycationic or zwitterionic analogues of extracellular matrix proteins to stabilise amorphous mineral precursor phases. To date, there is a lack of a universal model that enables the subtleties of these two apparently dissimilar biomineralisation processes to be studied together. Here, we utilise the eggshell membrane as a universal model for differential biomimetic calcification and silicification. By manipulating the eggshell membrane to render it permeable to stabilised mineral precursors, it is possible to introduce nanostructured calcium phosphate or silica into eggshell membrane fibre cores or mantles. We provide a model for infiltrating the two compartmental niches of a biopolymer membrane with different intrafibre minerals to obtain materials with potentially improved structure-property relationships.
apatite; biomineralisation; silica; membrane
This article reports the preparation of gold plasmonic transducers using a nanoparticle self-assembly/heating method and the characterization of the films using scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM). Nanoparticle-polymer multilayer films were prepared by the layer-by-layer assembly on glass slides by alternating exposures to monodisperse Au25 nanoparticles and ionic polymer linkers. Thermal evaporation of organic matters from the nanoparticle-polymer multilayer films at 600 °C allowed the nanoparticles to coalescence and form nanostructured films. Characterization of the nanostructured films generated from Au25 nanoparticles using atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed that the films have rounded, small, island-like morphologies (d: 30-50 nm) with a pit in the center of many islands. However, further characterizations with s-SNOM revealed that the produced nanoislands contain a single gold cluster in a pit surrounded by donut-shaped dielectric species. Formation of such a structure is thought to be resulted from the embedding of gold clusters under the reorganized polysiloxane binder coatings and glass surfaces during heat treatment of the Au25 nanoparticle multilayer films. The nanostructured films displayed strong surface plasmon resonance bands in UV-vis spectra with a peak absorbance occurring at ~545-550 nm. The optical sensing capability of the films was examined using D-glucose-functionalized gold island films with the interaction of Concanavalin A (ConA). The result showed that the adsorption of ConA on island films causes a large change in the LSPR band intensity.
Nanoislands; Nanoparticle; Self-Assembly; Plasmonics; Sensor; Gold
We studied a fluoroimmunoassay using metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) detection on silver film generated by vapor deposition method. The morphology of the silver film was controlled through the thickness of the film. A silica layer was coated on the silver film to protect the film and separate the fluorophore from the metal surface. Rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) was adsorbed on the silica by physiosorption and then dye-labeled anti-rabbit IgG was bound to the immobilized rabbit IgG. It was observed that the fluorophore was quenched on a thin silver film (2 nm), enhanced on a thick film (>5 nm), and reached saturation (ca. 10 times enhancement) at 20 nm. The MEF was also dependent on the thickness of the silica with a maximum at 10 nm. The lowest lifetime was observed on the 20 nm silver film, which was consistent with the saturation of MEF. These results showed the properties of a silver film needed for a maximum increase of fluorescence intensity in a fluoroimmunoassay. Dependence of the MEF on the emission wavelength was also studied using different dye-labeled anti-rabbit IgGs.
This article reports the effects of heating temperature and composition of nanoparticle multilayer films on the morphology, stability, and optical property of gold nanoisland films prepared by nanoparticle self-assembly/heating method. First, nanoparticle-polymer multilayer films are prepared by the layer-by-layer assembly. Nanoparticle multilayer films are then heated at temperature ranging from 500 °C to 625 °C in air to induce an evaporation of organic matters from the films. During the heating process, the nanoparticles on the solid surface undergo coalescence, resulting in the formation of nanostructured gold island arrays. Characterization of nanoisland films using atomic force microscopy and UV-vis spectroscopy suggests that the morphology and stability of gold island films change when different heating temperatures are applied. Stable gold nanoisland thin film arrays can only be obtained after heat treatments at or above 575 °C. In addition, the results show that the use of nanoparticles with different sizes produces nanoisland films with different morphologies. Multilayer films containing smaller gold nanoparticles tend to produce more monodisperse and smaller island nanostructures. Other variables such as capping ligands around nanoparticles and molecular weight of polymer linkers are found to have only minimal effects on the structure of island films. The adsorption of streptavidin on the biotin-functionalized nanoisland films is studied for examining the biosensing capability of nanoisland arrays.
Nanoislands; Nanoparticles; Self-Assembly; Plasmonics; Au
The desire to immobilize, encapsulate, or entrap viable cells for use in a variety of applications has been explored for decades. Traditionally, the approach is to immobilize cells to utilize a specific functionality of the cell in the system.
Scope of Review
This review describes our recent discovery that living cells can organize extended nanostructures and nano-objects to create a highly biocompatible nano//bio interface .
We find that short chain phospholipids direct the formation of thin film silica mesophases during evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) , and that the introduction of cells alter the self-assembly pathway. Cells organize an ordered lipid-membrane that forms a coherent interface with the silica mesophase that is unique in that it withstands drying - yet it maintains accessibility to molecules introduced into the 3D silica host. Cell viability is preserved in the absence of buffer, making these constructs useful as standalone cell-based sensors. In response to hyperosmotic stress, the cells release water, creating a pH gradient which is maintained within the nanostructured host and serves to localize lipids, proteins, plasmids, lipidized nanocrystals, and other components at the cellular surface. This active organization of the bio/nano interface can be accomplished during ink-jet printing or selective wetting - processes allowing patterning of cellular arrays - and even spatially-defined genetic modification.
Recent advances in the understanding of nanotechnology and cell biology encourage the pursuit of more complex endeavors where the dynamic interactions of the cell and host material act symbiotically to obtain new, useful functions.
While nanostructures of organic conductors have generated great interest in recent years, their nanoscale size and shape control remains a significant challenge. Here we report a general method for producing a variety of oligoaniline nanostructures with well-defined morphologies and dimensionalities. 1-D nanowires, 2-D nanoribbons, and 3-D rectangular nanoplates and nanoflowers of tetraaniline are produced by a solvent exchange process in which the dopant acid can be used to tune the oligomer morphology. The process appears to be a general route for producing nanostructures for a variety of other aniline oligomers such as the phenyl-capped tetramer. X-ray diffraction of the tetraniline nanostructures reveals that they possess different packing arrangements, which results in different nanoscale morphologies with different electrical properties for the structures. The conductivity of a single tetraaniline nanostructure is up to two orders of magnitude higher than the highest previously reported value and rivals that of pressed pellets of conventional polyaniline doped with acid. Furthermore, these oligomer nanostructures can be easily processed by a number of methods in order to create thin films composed of aligned nanostructures over a macroscopic area.
We report on the systematic investigation of the role of surface nanoscale roughness and morphology on the charging behaviour of nanostructured titania (TiO2) surfaces in aqueous solutions. IsoElectric Points (IEPs) of surfaces have been characterized by direct measurement of the electrostatic double layer interactions between titania surfaces and the micrometer-sized spherical silica probe of an atomic force microscope in NaCl aqueous electrolyte. The use of a colloidal probe provides well-defined interaction geometry and allows effectively probing the overall effect of nanoscale morphology. By using supersonic cluster beam deposition to fabricate nanostructured titania films, we achieved a quantitative control over the surface morphological parameters. We performed a systematical exploration of the electrical double layer properties in different interaction regimes characterized by different ratios of characteristic nanometric lengths of the system: the surface rms roughness Rq, the correlation length ξ and the Debye length λD. We observed a remarkable reduction by several pH units of IEP on rough nanostructured surfaces, with respect to flat crystalline rutile TiO2. In order to explain the observed behavior of IEP, we consider the roughness-induced self-overlap of the electrical double layers as a potential source of deviation from the trend expected for flat surfaces.
Currently, the most severe limitation to applying RNA interference (RNAi) technology is delivery, including localizing the molecules to a specific site of interest to target a specific cell population and sustaining the presentation of these molecules for a controlled period of time. In this study, we engineered a functionalized, biodegradable system created by covalent incorporation of cationic linear polyethyleneimine (LPEI) into photocrosslinked dextran (DEX) hydrogels through a biodegradable ester linkage. The key innovation of this system is that control over the sustained release of short interference RNA (siRNA) was achieved, as LPEI could electrostatically interact with siRNA to maintain siRNA within the hydrogels and degradation of the covalent ester linkages between the LPEI and the hydrogels led to tunable release of LPEI/siRNA complexes over time. The covalent conjugation of LPEI did not affect the swelling or degradation properties of the hydrogels, and the addition of siRNA and LPEI had minimal effect on their mechanical properties. These hydrogels exhibited low cytotoxicity against human embryonic kidney 293 cells (HEK293). The release profiles could be tailored by varying DEX (8 and 12 %w/w) and LPEI (0, 5, 10 μg/ 100 μl gel) concentrations with nearly 100% cumulative release achieved at day 9 (8 %w/w gel) and day 17 (12 %w/w gel). The released siRNA exhibited high bioactivity with cells surrounding and inside the hydrogels over an extended time period. This controllable and sustained siRNA delivery hydrogel system that permits tailored siRNA release profiles may be valuable to guide cell fate for regenerative medicine and other therapeutic applications such as cancer.
dextran; injectable biomaterials; controlled delivery; photopolymerization; siRNA interference
We report on experimental and theoretical studies of plasmon-induced effects in a hybrid nanostructure composed of light-harvesting complexes and metallic nanoparticles in the form of semicontinuous silver film. The results of continuous-wave and time-resolved spectroscopy indicate that absorption of the light-harvesting complexes is strongly enhanced upon coupling with the metallic film spaced by 25 nm of a dielectric silica layer. This conclusion is corroborated by modeling, which confirms the morphology of the silver island film.
Light-harvesting complex; Chlorophyll; Absorption enhancement; Plasmon excitation; Fluorescence; Time-resolved fluorescence; Artificial light harvesting; Hybrid nanostructure
Biogenetic silica displays intricate patterns assembling from nano- to microsize level and interesting non-spherical structures differentiating in specific directions. Several model systems have been proposed to explain the formation of biosilica nanostructures. Of them, phase separation based on the physicochemical properties of organic amines was considered to be responsible for the pattern formation of biosilica. In this paper, using tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS, Si(OCH2CH3)4) as silica precursor, phospholipid (PL) and dodecylamine (DA) were introduced to initiate phase separation of organic components and influence silica precipitation. Morphology, structure and composition of the mineralized products were characterized using a range of techniques including field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric and differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA), infrared spectra (IR), and nitrogen physisorption. The results demonstrate that the phase separation process of the organic components leads to the formation of asymmetrically non-spherical silica structures, and the aspect ratios of the asymmetrical structures can be well controlled by varying the concentration of PL and DA. On the basis of the time-dependent experiments, a tentative mechanism is also proposed to illustrate the asymmetrical morphogenesis. Therefore, our results imply that in addition to explaining the hierarchical porous nanopatterning of biosilica, the phase separation process may also be responsible for the growth differentiation of siliceous structures in specific directions. Because organic amine (e.g., long-chair polyamines), phospholipids (e.g., silicalemma) and the phase separation process are associated with the biosilicification of diatoms, our results may provide a new insight into the mechanism of biosilicification.
Van der Waals interactions have a fundamental role in biology, physics and chemistry, in particular in the self-assembly and the ensuing function of nanostructured materials. Here we utilize an efficient microscopic method to demonstrate that van der Waals interactions in nanomaterials act at distances greater than typically assumed, and can be characterized by different scaling laws depending on the dimensionality and size of the system. Specifically, we study the behaviour of van der Waals interactions in single-layer and multilayer graphene, fullerenes of varying size, single-wall carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoribbons. As a function of nanostructure size, the van der Waals coefficients follow unusual trends for all of the considered systems, and deviate significantly from the conventionally employed pairwise-additive picture. We propose that the peculiar van der Waals interactions in nanostructured materials could be exploited to control their self-assembly.
Van der Waals interactions have a large influence on phenomena that occur at short-length scales. Gobre et al. demonstrate that van der Waals interactions in low-dimensional materials act at very large distances, and can significantly influence the self-assembly of nanostructured systems.
Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has recently been investigated extensively for chemical and biomolecular sensing. Multilayer silver (Ag) nanofilms deposited on glass slides by a simple electroless deposition process have been fabricated as active substrates (Ag/GL substrates) for arsenate SERS sensing. The nanostructures and layer characteristics of the multilayer Ag films could be tuned by varying the concentrations of reactants (AgNO3/BuNH2) and reaction time. A Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) double-layer was formed by directly reducing Ag+ ions on the glass surfaces, while a top layer (3rd-layer) of Ag dendrites was deposited on the double-layer by self-assembling AgNPs or AgNPs aggregates which had already formed in the suspension. The SERS spectra of arsenate showed that characteristic SERS bands of arsenate appear at approximately 780 and 420 cm-1, and the former possesses higher SERS intensity. By comparing the peak heights of the approximately 780 cm-1 band of the SERS spectra, the optimal Ag/GL substrate has been obtained for the most sensitive SERS sensing of arsenate. Using this optimal substrate, the limit of detection (LOD) of arsenate was determined to be approximately 5 μg·l-1.
Large area periodic nanostructures exhibit unique optical and electronic properties and have found many applications, such as photonic band-gap materials, high dense data storage, and photonic devices. We have developed a maskless photolithography method—Nanosphere Photolithography (NSP)—to produce a large area of uniform nanopatterns in the photoresist utilizing the silica micro-spheres to focus UV light. Here, we will extend the idea to fabricate metallic nanostructures using the NSP method. We produced large areas of periodic uniform nanohole array perforated in different metallic films, such as gold and aluminum. The diameters of these nanoholes are much smaller than the wavelength of UV light used and they are very uniformly distributed. The method introduced here inherently has both the advantages of photolithography and self-assembled methods. Besides, it also generates very uniform repetitive nanopatterns because the focused beam waist is almost unchanged with different sphere sizes.
Microspheres; Photolithography; Nanostructures
We report an approach to the design of reactive polymer films that can be functionalized post-fabrication to either prevent or promote the attachment and growth of cells. Our approach is based on the reactive layer-by-layer assembly of covalently crosslinked thin films using a synthetic polyamine and a polymer containing reactive azlactone functionality. Our results demonstrate (i) that the residual azlactone functionality in these films can be exploited to immobilize amine-functionalized chemical motifs similar to those that promote or prevent cell and protein adhesion when assembled as self-assembled monolayers on gold-coated surfaces, and (ii) that the immobilization of these motifs changes significantly the behaviors and interactions of cells with the surfaces of these polymer films. We demonstrate that films treated with the hydrophobic molecule decylamine support the attachment and growth of mammalian cells in vitro. In contrast, films treated with the hydrophilic carbohydrate D-glucamine prevent cell adhesion and growth almost completely. The results of additional experiments suggest that these large differences in cell behavior can be understood, at least in part, in terms of differences in the abilities of these two different chemical motifs to promote or prevent the adsorption of protein onto film coated surfaces. We demonstrate further that this approach can be used to pattern regions of these reactive films that resist the initial attachment and subsequent invasion of mammalian cells for periods of at least one month in the presence of serum-containing cell culture media. Finally, we report that films that prevent the adhesion and growth of mammalian cells also prevent the initial formation of bacterial biofilms when incubated in the presence of the clinically relevant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The results of these studies, collectively, suggest the basis of general approaches to the fabrication and functionalization of thin films that prevent, promote, or pattern cell growth or the formation of biofilms on surfaces of interest in the contexts of both fundamental biological studies and a broad range of other practical applications.
The helicity of DNA and its long-range chiral packing are widespread phenomena; however, the packing mechanism remains poorly understood both in vivo and in vitro. Here, we report the extraordinary DNA chiral self-assembly by silica mineralization, together with circular dichroism measurements and electron microscopy studies on the structure and morphology of the products. Mg2+ ion and diethylenetriamine were found to induce right- and left-handed chiral DNA packing with two-dimensional-square p4mm mesostructures, respectively, to give corresponding enantiomeric impeller-like helical DNA–silica complexes. Moreover, formation of macroscopic impeller-like helical architectures depends on the types of polyamines and co-structure-directing agents and pH values of reaction solution. It has been suggested that interaction strength between negatively charged DNA phosphate strands and positively charged counterions may be the key factor for the induction of DNA packing handedness.
chirality; polyamine, DNA–silica complex; biomolecule; self-assemble; helical architecture; liquid crystal
Silaffins are involved in the formation of the cell walls of diatoms. It is known that silaffins can precipitate silica in vitro, forming nano- and micro-particles in the shape of spheres and plates containing many pores. It is important to note that the deposition of silica and the particle morphology in the presence of silaffins affects chemical and physical agents (e.g., peptides, polyamines, phosphate, nitrogen, and the mechanical changes of the reaction mixture). It is believed that silaffins act as an organic matrix for silica-genesis and that silica pore size should reflect the pattern of a matrix. Here, biotechnology related to silaffins is discussed in the context of “a hypothesis of silaffin matrix” and “the LCPA-phosphate model”. We discuss the most promising area of silaffin biotechnology—the development of production methods for silicon structures with desired shapes and nanostructural properties that can be used to create biocompatible materials.
silaffins; diatoms; silicon; nanomaterials; medicine
Materials that permit control over the release of DNA from the surfaces of topologically complex implantable devices, such as intravascular stents, could contribute to the development of new approaches to the localized delivery of DNA. We report the fabrication of ultrathin, multilayered polyelectrolyte films that permit both the immobilization and controlled release of plasmid DNA from the surfaces of stainless steel intravascular stents. Our approach makes use of an aqueous-based, layer-by-layer method for the assembly of nanostructured thin films consisting of alternating layers of plasmid DNA and a hydrolytically degradable polyamine. Characterization of coated stents using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) demonstrated that stents were coated uniformly with an ultrathin film ca. 120 nm thick that adhered conformally to the surfaces of stent struts. These ultrathin films did not crack, peel, or delaminate substantially from the surface after exposure to a range of mechanical challenges representative of those encountered during stent deployment (e.g., balloon expansion). Stents coated with eight bilayers of degradable polyamine and a plasmid encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein sustained the release of DNA into solution for up to four days when incubated in phosphate buffered saline at 37 °C, and coated stents were capable of mediating the expression of EGFP in a mammalian cell line without the aid of additional transfection agents. The approach reported here could, with further development, contribute to the development of localized gene-based approaches to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases or related conditions.