NSTI Nanotech 2009

Formation of biomineralized protein nanotubes by using genetically engineered flagella as a template

H. Xu, D. Li, C. Mao
University of Oklahoma, US

Keywords: flagella, nanotubes, hydroxyapatite, mineralization


Bacterial flagella are protein nanotubes assembled from flagellins. Bone protein-derived peptides were separately displayed on the side wall of flagella. We allowed the genetically engineered flagella to interact with a hydroxylapatite (HAP) precursor solution. By using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we find that the interaction resulted in the nucleation of HAP on the flagella to form biomineralized nanotubes. We also conduct the assembly of preformed HAP nanoparticles along the flagellar nanotubes and expect to assemble nanoparticles into an array. In addition, we perform the co-assembly of the flagella displaying the different peptides in the presence of a HAP precursor solution and expect to form hierarchically assembled HAP-nanotube matrix. Our work provides a new approach to the formation of biomineralized protein nanotubes that can be further assembled into a higher-order structures for bone tissue engineering applications.
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