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Advanced Materials

Nanomechanics of Streptavidin Hubs for Molecular Materials

Authors

  • Minkyu Kim,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems, Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
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  • Chien-Chung Wang,

    1. Graduate Insititute of Biotechnology, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan (R.O.C)
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  • Fabrizio Benedetti,

    1. Laboratory of Physics of Living Matter, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Mahir Rabbi,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems, Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
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  • Vann Bennett,

    1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
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  • Piotr E. Marszalek

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems, Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems, Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
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Abstract

A new strategy is reported for creating protein-based nanomaterials by genetically fusing large polypeptides to monomeric streptavidin and exploiting the propensity of streptavidin monomers(SM) to self-assemble into stable tetramers. We have characterized the mechanical properties of streptavidin-linked structures and measured, for the first time, the mechanical strength of streptavidin tetramers themselves. Using streptavidin tetramers as molecular hubs offers a unique opportunity to create a variety of well-defined, self-assembled protein-based (nano)materials with unusual mechanical properties.

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