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October 21st, 2003
Aerogels host protein assemblies
In a new processing scheme developed by researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., cytochrome c molecules self-assemble into superstructures that can be incorporated into silica aerogels while retaining their ability to reversibly bind nitric oxide. The researchers prepare cytochrome c superstructures by mixing the protein in buffered solution with colloidal gold. They find that a protein monolayer adsorbs on the gold nanoparticles, providing a foundation for additional protein layers to self-assemble - in all, about 10,000 protein molecules to one gold nanoparticle.
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