Open Access
Avery, Kendra Nicole
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
September 30, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Raymond Edward Schaak, Dissertation Advisor
  • Raymond Edward Schaak, Committee Chair
  • Christine Dolan Keating, Committee Member
  • Michael Thomas Green, Committee Member
  • John H Golbeck, Committee Member
  • phage display
  • biomineralization
  • multi-functional materials
  • biotemplated materials
  • magnetically recoverable catalyst
Many types of organisms create a variety of nano and micro scale materials from precursors available in their surrounding environments by a process called biomineralization. As scientists begin to understand how these organisms utilize specific and non-specific interactions with a variety of biopolymers such as chitin, peptides, proteins and nucleic acids with these precursors to create inorganic/organic composite materials, they have begun to wonder about the synthesis of other types of non-biologically templated synthetic techniques that might be possible. Bioengineered organisms and biopolymers have begun to be used for these types of studies. A variety of selection techniques exist for discovering biopolymers with an affinity for a target material, however, one of the most notable is a technique called peptide phage display. This is a technique that utilizes a commercially available randomized peptide library attached at the tip of the filamentous bacteriophage M13. In this dissertation capabilities of bacteriophage M13 are explored in regard to the creation of bi-functional nano materials by exploiting both specific peptide interactions as well as non-specific peptide interactions on the surface of the organism. Chapter 2 focuses on utilizing the specific peptide interactions of the randomized library at pIII in order to discover peptides with high binding affinity for a variety of nanomaterials. Selection studies called biopanning are performed on a variety of nanomaterials such as CaMoO4, allotropes of Ni, Fe2O3 and Fe3O4, and Rh and Pt with the fcc type crystal structure. Similarities and differences between peptides discovered for these materials are discussed. Chapter 3 focuses on utilizing the non-specific peptide interactions on the long axis of M13 called pVIII. The pVIII region consists of 2700 copies of the same 50 amino acid protein which as a negatively charged domain which is exposed to solution. The pVIII region therefore provides the surface of the phage with a negative charge on which nanomaterials can be supported. Metal salt precursors reduced in the presence of WT M13 are studied in this chapter. Metal salt precursors of Fe, Co, Ru, Rh and Pd seem to be the most effective at coating the surface of the phage based on the positively charged metal-aquo complexes formed in water, which are attracted to the negative pVIII region. Other types of reactions are explored with WT phage as a scaffold such as conversion chemistry in a polyol solvent to access several intermetallic phases as well as co-precipitation reactions to access ternary oxides. Chapter 4 focuses on combining research from chapter 2 and chapter 3 to create a bi-functional material that utilizes both specific and non-specific peptide interactions with inorganic materials on the surface of M13 to attach two different types of nanomaterials. The example provided here is a magnetically recoverable hydrogenation catalyst made up of a pVIII region coated with rhodium nanoparticles held in place by non-specific peptide interactions and a pIII region attached to iron oxide nanoparticles via specific peptide interactions. This is the first example in the literature of a commercially available pIII bioengineered M13 bacteriophage forming a bi-functional material. This research provides a methodology to design and build single and multi-component materials on the surface of bacteriophage M13 without the necessity for additional bioengineering and library characterization. The simplicity of use will make the technique available to a wider variety of researchers in the materials science community.