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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Hierarchical propagation of structural features in protein nanomaterials

Kamada, Ayaka; Herneke, Anja; Lopez-Sanchez, Patricia; Harder, Constantin; Ornithopoulou, Eirini; Wu, Qiong; Wei, Xinfeng; Schwartzkopf, Matthias; Mueller-Buschbaum, Peter; Roth, Stephan, V; Hedenqvist, Mikael S.; Langton, Maud; Lendel, Christofer;

Abstract

Natural high-performance materials have inspired the exploration of novel materials from protein building blocks. The ability of proteins to self-organize into amyloid-like nanofibrils has opened an avenue to new materials by hierarchical assembly processes. As the mechanisms by which proteins form nanofibrils are becoming clear, the challenge now is to understand how the nanofibrils can be designed to form larger structures with defined order. We here report the spontaneous and reproducible formation of ordered microstructure in solution cast films from whey protein nanofibrils. The structural features are directly connected to the nanostructure of the protein fibrils, which is itself determined by the molecular structure of the building blocks. Hence, a hierarchical assembly process ranging over more than six orders of magnitude in size is described. The fibril length distribution is found to be the main determinant of the microstructure and the assembly process originates in restricted capillary flow induced by the solvent evaporation. We demonstrate that the structural features can be switched on and off by controlling the length distribution or the evaporation rate without losing the functional properties of the protein nanofibrils.

Published in

Nanoscale

2022, volume: 14, number: 6, pages: 2502-2510
Publisher: ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY

Authors' information

Kamada, Ayaka
University of Cambridge
Kamada, Ayaka
Royal Institute of Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Molecular Sciences
Lopez-Sanchez, Patricia
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Molecular Sciences
Harder, Constantin
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
Harder, Constantin
Technical University of Munich
Ornithopoulou, Eirini
Royal Institute of Technology
Wu, Qiong
Royal Institute of Technology
Wei, Xinfeng
Royal Institute of Technology
Schwartzkopf, Matthias
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
Mueller-Buschbaum, Peter
Technical University of Munich
Roth, Stephan
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
Roth, Stephan
Royal Institute of Technology
Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
Royal Institute of Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Molecular Sciences
Lendel, Christofer
Royal Institute of Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Nano-technology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/d1nr05571b

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/116096