ResearchPublished on 02.05.2024

Latest publication from the Salentinig Group!

Salentinig Research Group has recently published a new article in the journal Advanced Functional Materials entitled, "pH-Responsive Virus-Based Colloidal Crystals for Advanced Material Platforms".

For more information and to read the article:


Bacteriophages have a well-defined nanoscale size, shape, and surface chemistry, making them promising candidates for creating advanced biomaterials for applications including biocatalysis, drug delivery, and biosensing. This study demonstrates the self-assembly of the ≈29 nm diameter bacteriophage Qbeta (Qubevirus durum) with the synthetic polycation, poly [2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] trimethylammonium chloride (pMETAC), into compartmentalized colloidal crystals. The pH and the polymer chain length tune their self-assembly and the resulting structure, with the potential for further chemical modification or loading with bioactive molecules. Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), multi-angle dynamic light scattering (DLS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are used for studying the Qbeta self-assembly into the geometrically ordered aggregates. The suprastructures form at pH > 7.0 and disassemble at pH < 7.0. Zeta potential measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) show pMETAC adsorption onto the negatively charged Qbeta surface. The colloidal crystal formation is achieved without chemically modifying the Qbeta surface. Additionally, the Qbeta/pMETAC suprastructures can be easily separated from the suspension as macroscopic aggregate, maintaining their activity. Their simple preparation allows for large-scale production of advanced materials in food and health science applications and nanotechnology. The insights from this study will further advance the tailored design and production of novel colloidal materials.