Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.581, 185-194, 2021
Biomimetic core-shell silica nanoparticles using a dual-functional peptide
Biomimetic nanomaterials have attracted tremendous research interest in the past decade. We recently developed biomimetic core-shell nanoparticles - silica nanocapsules, using a designer dual-functional peptide SurSi under room temperature, neutral pH and without use of any toxic reagents or chemicals. The SurSi peptide is designed capable of not only stabilizing nanoemulsions because of its excellent sur-face activity, but also inducing the formation of silica through biosilicification at an oil-water interface. However, it remains challenging to precisely control the peptide-induced nucleation and biosilicification specifically at the oil-water interface, thus forming oil-core silica-shell nanocapsules with uniform size and monodispersity. In this study, the fundamental mechanism of silica formation through a peptide catalyzed biosilicification was systematically investigated, so that the formation of oil-core silica-shell nanocapsules can be precisely controlled. The SurSi peptide induced hydrolysis and nucleation of biomineralized silica particles were monitored to study the biosilicification kinetics. Effects of pH, SurSi peptide concentration and pre-hydrolysis of silica precursors were also studied to optimize the formation of biomimetic silica nanocapsules. The fundamental understanding achieved through these systematic studies provides valuable insights for making core-shell nanoparticles via controlling nucleation and reaction at interfaces. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.