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Open AccessArticle

Electric Field Assisted Self-Assembly of Viruses into Colored Thin Films

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
2
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9091310
Received: 7 August 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 13 September 2019
Filamentous viruses called M13 bacteriophages are promising materials for devices with thin film coatings because phages are functionalizable, and they can self-assemble into smectic helicoidal nanofilament structures. However, the existing “pulling” approach to align the nanofilaments is slow and limits potential commercialization of this technology. This study uses an applied electric field to rapidly align the nanostructures in a fixed droplet. The electric field reduces pinning of the three-phase contact line, allowing it to recede at a constant rate. Atomic force microscopy reveals that the resulting aligned structures resemble those produced via the pulling method. The field-assisted alignment results in concentric color bands quantified with image analysis of red, green, and blue line profiles. The alignment technique shown here could reduce self-assembly time from hours to minutes and lend itself to scalable manufacturing techniques such as inkjet printing. View Full-Text
Keywords: M13 bacteriophage; nanobiomaterial; self-assembly; colorimetric film; electric field; electrowetting M13 bacteriophage; nanobiomaterial; self-assembly; colorimetric film; electric field; electrowetting
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Tronolone, J.J.; Orrill, M.; Song, W.; Kim, H.S.; Lee, B.Y.; LeBlanc, S. Electric Field Assisted Self-Assembly of Viruses into Colored Thin Films. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1310.

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