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Effects of Surface Properties on Solid-Supported Two-Dimensional Protein Crystals

Chengfei Lou and Szu-Wen Wang. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California, Irvine, 916 Engineering Tower, Irvine, CA 92697-2575

Self-assembling biological systems can be used as templates to direct the organization of nanoscale materials, and an understanding of this self-assembly is imperative for practical applications. For two-dimensional protein crystals, changes in interactions between proteins can yield alterations in precise molecular configurations. In this work, we have investigated the effects of the supporting solid substrate on which protein crystals can be grown. We prepared two-dimensional streptavidin crystals on phospholipid bilayers, and resulting crystals were imaged by fluorescence microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The surface properties of the substrate were found to be critical for promoting crystal growth.