Controlling protein function with nanotechnology

Gabrielle DeMarco
EurekAlert

Bio and nanotechnology experts at Rensselaer discover how different nanomaterial surfaces affect proteins.

Troy, N.Y. – A new study led by nanotechnology and biotechnology experts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is providing important details on how proteins in our bodies interact with nanomaterials. In their new study, published in the Feb. 2 online edition of the journal Nano Letters, the researchers developed a new tool to determine the orientation of proteins on different nanostructures. The discovery is a key step in the effort to control the orientation, structure, and function of proteins in the body using nanomaterials.

“To date, very little is known about how proteins interact with a surface at the nanoscale,” said Jonathan Dordick, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer (CBIS), the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and co-corresponding author of the study. “With a better understanding of how a protein interacts with a surface, we can develop custom nanoscale surfaces and design proteins that can do a variety of amazing tasks in the human body.”

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