to Guide Assembly of Inorganic Nanostructures
A number of potential methods might be useful in guiding the assembly of
inorganic nanostructures. A key objective in this effort is the ability to specify
the exact locations of different nanoparticles within a nanostructure, a capability
that will be critical in designing and producing future nanodevices.
One technique discussed involves the possibility of using proteins to create
a framework on which nanoparticles could then be attached at specified points.
Some type of chemical processing could then be used to remove the organics after
assembly. Attaching the inorganic particles to a protein framework might be accomplished
using binding sites identified via "phage display" techniques where
phage-displaying proteins with randomized surfaces are selected for an affinity
to a desired inorganic material. The advantages of this method include the ability
to isolate a single binding phage and then grow large quantities of it for characterization.
A particularly advantageous type of protein for these constructs are diabodies,
constructed from fragments of antibodies. These can incorporate binding sites
identified through phage display and then be used to attach inorganic materials
at preselected places on the protein framework.
One seemingly insurmountable requirement for these processes is the need to
use aqueous solutions to enable the molecules to interact and bind. The need for
aqueous environments will most likely prevent or limit the use of certain inorganic