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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

C60 Bioconjugation with Proteins: Towards a Palette of Carriers for All pH Ranges

Dipartimento di Chimica “G. Ciamician”, Università di Bologna, via F. Selmi 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati (CNR-ISMN), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(5), 691;
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification of Nanoparticles)
The high hydrophobicity of fullerenes and the resulting formation of aggregates in aqueous solutions hamper the possibility of their exploitation in many technological applications. Noncovalent bioconjugation of fullerenes with proteins is an emerging approach for their dispersion in aqueous media. Contrary to covalent functionalization, bioconjugation preserves the physicochemical properties of the carbon nanostructure. The unique photophysical and photochemical properties of fullerenes are then fully accessible for applications in nanomedicine, sensoristic, biocatalysis and materials science fields. However, proteins are not universal carriers. Their stability depends on the biological conditions for which they have evolved. Here we present two model systems based on pepsin and trypsin. These proteins have opposite net charge at physiological pH. They recognize and disperse C60 in water. UV-Vis spectroscopy, zeta-potential and atomic force microscopy analysis demonstrates that the hybrids are well dispersed and stable in a wide range of pH’s and ionic strengths. A previously validated modelling approach identifies the protein-binding pocket involved in the interaction with C60. Computational predictions, combined with experimental investigations, provide powerful tools to design tailor-made C60@proteins bioconjugates for specific applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: fullerenes; nanohybrids; nanobiotechnology; bioconjugation; chemical stability fullerenes; nanohybrids; nanobiotechnology; bioconjugation; chemical stability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Di Giosia, M.; Valle, F.; Cantelli, A.; Bottoni, A.; Zerbetto, F.; Calvaresi, M. C60 Bioconjugation with Proteins: Towards a Palette of Carriers for All pH Ranges. Materials 2018, 11, 691.

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