Jenny Malmström*,1,2 Sesha Manuguri,1,2,3 Yiran An1,3, Laura Domigan,4 David E. Williams,2,3 Jadranka Travas-Sejdic2,3 and Juliet A Gerrard2,3,4


1 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Wellington, New Zealand.
3 School of Chemical Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
4 School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Structured or organised surfaces with nanoscale features are important in a range of fields ranging from energy and computing to controlling cellular adhesion. The precise organisation of proteins at surfaces is one route to creating such engineered interfaces. Proteins exist with an enormous structural and chemical versatility and lend themselves well to be functionalized with different moieties. This work describes how we are harnessing this potential to create functional arrays of self-assembling protein rings. These proteins have pores that can be used to encapsulate metal complexes or nanoparticles, which can then assemble further into tunnels to create magnetic, electrical or optical nanorods.  We have explored ways of arranging these protein rings, for example through templating using a self-assembling block copolymer,[1, 2] or through specific binding to a patterned surface.  Furthermore, the protein core has been used to template the synthesis of small (~3 nm) magnetic nanoparticles. 


[1] Malmstrom J, Wason A, Roache F, Yewdall NA, Radjainia M, Wei S, et al. Protein nanorings organized by poly(styrene-block-ethylene oxide) self-assembled thin films. Nanoscale. 2015;7:19940-8.
[2] Roache FJM, Radjainia M, Williams DE, Gerrard JA, Travas-Sejdic J, Malmstrӧm J. Novel lift-off technique for Transmission Electron Microscopy imaging of block copolymer films. Ultramicroscopy. 2015;150:71-3.