Amyloids for Nanoparticle Synthesis, Wiring, Energy, and Remediation (ANSWER).


The objective is to modify beta solenoid proteins like the spruce budworm antifreeze (upper left) to act like the “amyloid” protein aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease in a controlled manner. With these controlled arrays, we can modify the sides of the proteins to grow nanoparticles for applications in energy generation such as novel photovoltaics, bind to materials like graphene for making novel energy storage devices (lower image), scaffold designed enzyme arrays, or guide stem-cells to grow tissues

Issues Involved or Addressed

This interdisciplinary research spans chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering, and provides opportunities for both hands on experimental research as well as theory and simulation of molecules and materials. These proteins give an unprecedented level of control to materials/device properties that could begin to rival DNA scaffolds in the precision “programming” of properties while offering more robust materials strength against heat, UV light, and chemically intense environments.

Methods and Technologies

  • Protein expression, modification, and characterization
  • Nanoparticle synthesis and characterization
  • Synthesis of rotein-nanoparticle hybrids and characterization
  • Spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Computer simulation and modeling
  • active electrical ionisatio

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Chemistry
  • biochemistry
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Electrical Engineering

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Knowledge of basic principles of chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and computer modeling and wet lab experience.

Team Advisors