Cover Picture: Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles Mimic Catalytic Activity of a Polysiloxane-Synthesizing Enzyme (Adv. Mater. 10/2005)

Authors

  • D. Kisailus,

    1. Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies and Materials Research Laboratory and the California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
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  • M. Najarian,

    1. Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies and Materials Research Laboratory and the California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
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  • J. C. Weaver,

    1. Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies and Materials Research Laboratory and the California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
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  • D. E. Morse

    1. Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies and Materials Research Laboratory and the California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
    2. Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
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Abstract

A system that acts as a biomimetic of the silica-synthesizing enzyme found in a marine sponge is reported by Morse and co-workers on p. 1234. Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are functionalized with the same organic moieties that are found in the enzyme's catalytic site. Interaction between the nucleophilic (OH-terminated) and hydrogen-bonding (imidazole-terminated) GNPs, as shown on the cover, is required for the hydrolysis of a silicon alkoxide precursor and subsequent polycondensation to form silica at a low temperature and near-neutral pH. Replacement of either of the required functional groups by a non-reactive methyl group abolishes catalysis in this synthetic system, as it does in the biological enzyme. Cover art provided by Peter Allen.

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