Sensors Based on Metal Nanoclusters Stabilized on Designed Proteins
Antonio Aires, Elena Lopez-Martinez, Aitziber L. Cortajarena
Among all new nanomaterials, metal nanoclusters (NCs) have attracted special attention due to their interesting optical properties, among others. Metal NCs have been recently studied and used as sensors for different analytes. However, there is a need to explore the potential of these new sensors in a systematic manner and to develop new systems to broaden the possibilities that sensing offers to the industry. In this work, we show the potential use of repeat protein scaffolds as versatile templates for the synthesis and stabilization of various metal NCs, specifically Au, Ag, and CuNCs. The resulting protein-metal NCs hybrids are evaluated as sensors for different stimuli such as temperature, ions, or reactive oxygen species (ROS). Among the three protein-metal NCs, all performed nicely as temperature sensors, AuNCs responded to metal ions, and AgNCs were able to detect ROS.
Protein structure, Quantitation, Nanostructures, Chemical stability, Materials, Biochemistry