Biomolecular Construction of Optical Nanostructures
Biology provides a vast number of examples of nanostructures produced at a level of precision that is superior to those that we can produce in the laboratory. The diversity of naturally occurring S-layers suggests that the nature of these self-assembled structures is genetically controlled and can therefore be manipulated through recombinant processes. In this Phase I research plan, Agave BioSystems proposes to combine S-layers, a self-organizing component of bacterial cell walls, with newly described luminescent nanoparticles to generate novel structures containing regular arrays of photoactivatable fluorescent materials. This approach can yield complex optical nanostructures much faster and much cheaper than by other nanofabrication techniques. Of particular interest is the use of these optical nanoarrays for high-density data storage. Data storage using this technology would not only yield significantly greater capacity, but would also increase access speeds, improve reliability and reduce manufacturing costs.
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