Langmuir, Vol.26, No.22, 17383-17388, 2010
Dramatic Thermal Stability of Virus-Polymer Conjugates in Hydrophobic Solvents
We have developed a method for integrating the self-assembling tobacco mosaic virus capsid into hydrophobic solvents and hydrophobic polymers. The capsid was modified at tyrosine residues to display an array or linear poly(ethylene glycol) chains, allowing it to be transferred into chloroform. In a subsequent step, the capsids could he transferred to a variety of hydrophobic solvents, including benzyl alcohol, o-dichlorohenzene, and diglyme. The thermal stability of the material against denaturation increased from 70 degrees C in water to at least 160 degrees C in hydrophobic solvents. With a view toward material fabrication, the polymer-coated TMV rods were also incorporated into solid polystyrene and thermally cast at 110 degrees C. Overall, this process significantly expands the range of processing conditions for TMV-based materials, with the goal of incorporating these templated nanoscale systems into conductive polymer matrices.