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Serum Protein Controlled Nanoparticle Synthesis



Mineralising organisms are thought to have been evolving for some 542 million years to precisely control both inorganic compound formation and inhibition in aqueous conditions. While the exact mechanisms continue to be elusive, there is growing evidence that control of the amorphous state is critical to these processes. To address this issue, the ability of three abundant serum proteins to stabilise the amorphous state of several important biogenic calcium minerals is examined. After gaining an insight into the relative stabilising strength of these proteins, their effect on the crystallization of gold was explored, demonstrating a potential use of this approach for the synthesis of functional nano-sized materials.