Peptide Epitope Functionalized Monolayer-Protected Clusters for Life Science Applications
Gerdon, Aren Elliott
Developments at the interface between biology and nanoscale materials are crucial for the success of bionanotechnology in academic and industrial endeavors. An early development was made in assembling biological antibodies with inorganic nanoclusters through peptide-based interfaces. The thesis of this work is based on the idea that better interfaces can be assembled using monolayer-protected cluster scaffolds presenting peptide epitopes in a physiologically-relevant conformation. Significant progress towards this goal has resulted in sophisticated antigen mimics that make use of epitope primary structure as well as secondary structure. Nanoparticle-based antigen mimics were shown to be antigenic as well as immunogenic using monoclonal antibodies, mouse model studies, and an effective immunosensor based on quartz crystal microbalance technology. This project has provided a foundation for continued work on QCM-based pathogen detection, nanoparticle-based vaccines, nanoparticle-based sensor calibrants, and advanced immuno-materials interfaces.