When 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Jan 23, 2015
Where GM Room, Lurie Engineering Center
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Insulin-based nanowire structures: Production, characterization and catalysis potential

Kiersten Batzli
Thesis Defense

Brian Love, advisor


Proteins are known to self-associate into a variety of aggregate structures including nanowires and networks that have interesting qualities including high-aspect ratios and large effective surface areas that can be coated with metals. These protein-based nanowires are of potential interest for use as high surface area catalytic surfaces. Here we have developed a protocol for producing protein-fibrils based on insulin by heating and applying oscillatory strain to the proteins. We have characterized the structures formed by this protocol and the 2-D networks formed by deposition of the structures onto a substrate and have suggested a mechanism for limited control of the fibril structures. The insulin nanowire surfaces have been coated with platinum and used as efficient catalysts in reducing 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol. Finally, the immobilization of the protein-based nanowires onto textile substrates has been demonstrated for potential use as retrievable catalysts.