Title: Controlling Biomolecular Structure and Function at the Bio/Abio Interface
Abstract: Integrating biomolecular function into abiological devices for sensing, chemical catalysis, and biofuel generation would profoundly expand and change these traditional fields. This goal requires that the biomolecule of interest be effectively integrated with inorganic materials in a controlled and oriented manner without altering its three-dimensional fold or compromising function. In the research described here, we chemically functionalize gold surfaces with peptides of known secondary structure. Through a variety of characterization methods, we demonstrate that correctly functionalized surfaces can induce desired secondary structures in peptides that are disordered in solution. We demonstrate molecular-level control over both helical and fibril-forming peptide strands. This is an important advance in preparing robust biologically mimetic surfaces and is expected to lead to an entirely new mechanism through which biological and inorganic materials can be coaxed to interact.