This work constitutes a basic study about the first exploration on the preparation of biohybrids based on the corn protein zein and layered metal hydroxides, such as layered double hydroxides (LDH) and layered single hydroxides (LSHs). For this purpose, MgAl layered double hydroxide and the Co2
layered single hydroxide were selected as hosts, and various synthetic approaches were explored to achieve the formation of the zein-layered hydroxide biohybrids, profiting from the presence of negatively charged groups in zein in basic medium. Zein-based layered hydroxide biohybrids were characterized by diverse physicochemical techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis/differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA), solid state 13
C cross-polarization magical angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (CP-MAS NMR), field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), etc., which suggest that the different synthesis procedures employed and the anion located in the interlayer region of the inorganic host material seem to have a strong influence on the final features of the biohybrids, resulting in mixed, single intercalated, or highly exfoliated intercalated phases. Thus, the resulting biohybrids based on zein and layered hydroxides could have interest in applications in biomedicine, biosensing, materials for electronic devices, catalysis, and photocatalysis.
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