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Imparting Dynamics and Stability to Peptide-Directed Gold Nanoparticle Assemblies

Zhou, Yicheng (2021) Imparting Dynamics and Stability to Peptide-Directed Gold Nanoparticle Assemblies. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) attract significant research attention due to their unique chemical, physical and biological properties, which make them promising candidates for various applications in electronics, catalysis, sensing, and therapeutics. When gold nanoparticles are organized into superstructures, new collective properties emerge, leading to a large expansion to their existing properties and applications. Of particular interest are peptide-based Au NP superstructures, in which peptides and peptide conjugates serve both as structure directing agents and Au NP capping agents.

While many previous research advances focused on assembling Au NPs into a certain superstructure using peptide or peptide conjugate molecules, an emerging area of research focuses on introducing dynamics to these peptide-based Au NP superstructures and tailoring their properties. Stimuli-based tunable handles can expand the horizon of applications of Au NP superstructures. Some intuitive but interesting questions can be asked: What stimuli can we use? How does the material behave when the stimuli are applied? How do we systematically tune the responsive behavior?

Many potential nanomaterial applications require that they be stable and durable. It is thus equally important to study and analyze peptide-based Au NP superstructures under various conditions. What destabilizes peptide-based Au NP superstructures? What factors influence the stability of the NP assembly? How can the stability of the assembly be enhanced?

This dissertation describes several research projects aimed at answering these compelling questions. First, a review of Au NP superstructures, in particular those fabricated using peptide-based precursors, is provided, which is followed by previous examples of stimuli-responsive materials and stability studies of NP assemblies. Second, I introduce a photo-responsive moiety to the peptide conjugate, which enables reversible changes to the morphology of both the peptide assembly and peptide-directed Au NP superstructures. By systematically tuning structural parameters of the peptide conjugate, an optimized morphology transition is realized upon light
irradiation. Additionally, a new strategy for controlling photo-induced superstructure transformations based on host-guest chemistry is presented. Finally, I investigate the factors impacting the stability of Au NP single helices and determine strategies for enhancing their stability under different environmental conditions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zhou, Yichengyiz80@pitt.eduyiz800000-0003-2261-8541
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRosi, Nathaniel
Committee MemberMillstone, Jill
Committee MemberStar,
Committee MemberVelankar, Sachin
Date: 3 May 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 9 December 2020
Approval Date: 3 May 2021
Submission Date: 18 December 2020
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 160
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Chemistry
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nanomaterials, Gold Nanoparticle Assembly, Peptide Conjugate, Stimuli Responsive Materials, Au NP Superstructures
Date Deposited: 03 May 2021 14:48
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 05:15

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