Detailed structural characterization of protein–polymer conjugates and understanding of the interactions between covalently attached polymers and biomolecules will build a foundation to design and synthesize hybrid biomaterials. Conjugates based on simple protein structures are ideal model system to achieve these ends. Here we present a systematic structural study of coiled-coil peptide–poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) side-conjugates in solution, using circular dichroism, dynamic light scattering, and small-angle X-ray scattering, to determine the conformation of conjugated PEG chains. The overall size and shape of side-conjugates were determined using a cylindrical form factor model. Detailed structural information of the covalently attached PEG chains was extracted using a newly developed model where each peptide–PEG conjugate was modeled as a Gaussian chain attached to a cylinder, which was further arranged in a bundle-like configuration of three or four cylinders. The peptide–polymer side-conjugates were ...
The successful applicability of gene therapy approaches will heavily rely on the development of efficient and safe nonviral gene delivery vectors, for example, cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). CPPs can condense oligonucleotides and plasmid DNA (pDNA) into nanoparticles, thus allowing the t ... more
Dendrimers feature a defined number of terminal groups that may bind RNA or be functionalized with bioactive molecules. These competing uses of terminal groups may create an impasse if the requisite density of ligands depletes the number of terminal groups for binding sufficient RNA, or vic ... more
The development of clay bionanocomposites requires processing routes with nanostructural control. Moreover, moisture durability is a concern with water-soluble biopolymers. Here, oriented bionanocomposite coatings with strong in-plane orientation of clay platelets are for the first time pre ... more
Scientists are reporting discovery of a potential biochemical basis for the apparent cancer-fighting ability of broccoli and its veggie cousins. They found for the first time that certain substances in the vegetables appear to target and block a defective gene associated with cancer. Their ... more
Scientists in Japan are reporting development of a faster, less expensive version of the fabled polymerase chain reaction (PCR) a DNA test widely used in criminal investigations, disease diagnosis, biological research and other applications. The new method could lead to expanded use of PCR ... more
Researchers at Rice University in Texas have developed a new approach to fighting cancer, based on nanoscale particles that can both detect and destroy cancerous cells. The report appears in the American Chemical Society's journal Nano Letters. Current molecular imaging approaches only dete ... more