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Biomimetic Synthesis of Nanoparticles

  1. Joseph M. Slocik,
  2. Marc R. Knecht,
  3. David W. Wright

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia266

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Slocik, J. M., Knecht, M. R. and Wright, D. W. 2006. Biomimetic Synthesis of Nanoparticles. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


Biological systems provide numerous examples of highly controlled biomineralization processes that result in stabilized nanoparticles with superior optical properties, crystallinity, dispersity, and morphology. This is best exemplified by the selective mineralization of ferrihydrite (FeOOH·3H2O) as a labile source of iron within the iron storage protein ferritin. Consequently, these processes have inspired the use of biomolecular templates to mediate and mimic the synthesis of nano-materials with a remarkable degree of success. Biomimetic approaches to nanoparticle synthesis include the use of single amino acids, small synthetic peptides (3–18 residues), phage displayed peptides, combinatorial libraries, native proteins, and plant viruses. In the following, we present these biologically inspired templates and methodologies; in addition to describing nanoparticle characterization, resultant properties, and implications for the nanoscale synthesis of materials.


  • biomimetic synthesis;
  • amino acids;
  • histidine-rich peptide epitope;
  • silica precipitating peptides;
  • glutathione;
  • heat shock protein templates;
  • viral templates;
  • combinatorial peptide libraries;
  • phage displayed peptide libraries;
  • bacteriophages;
  • ferritin