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Ceramic Nanoparticle Assemblies with Tailored Shapes and Tailored Chemistries via Biosculpting and Shape-Preserving Inorganic Conversion

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A novel biosynthetic paradigm is introduced for fabricating three-dimensional (3-D) ceramic nano- particle assemblies with tailored shapes and tailored chemistries: biosculpting and shape-preserving inorganic conversion (BaSIC). Biosculpting refers to the use of biomolecules that direct the precipitation of ceramic nanoparticles to form a continuous 3-D structure with a tailored shape. We used a peptide derived from a diatom (a type of unicellular algae) to biosculpt silica nanoparticle based assemblies that, in turn, were converted into a new (nonsilica) composition via a shape-preserving gas/silica displacement reaction. Interwoven, microfilamentary silica structures were prepared by exposing a peptide, derived from the silaffin-1A protein of the diatom Cylindrotheca fusiformis, to a tetramethylorthosilicate solution under a linear shear flow condition. Subsequent exposure of the silica microfilaments to magnesium gas at 900┬░Cresulted in conversion into nanocrystalline magnesium oxide microfilaments with a retention of fine (submicrometer) features. Fluid(gas or liquid)/silica displacement reactions leading to a variety of other oxides have also been identified. This hybrid (biogenic/synthetic) approach opens the door to biosculpted ceramic microcomponents with multifarious tailored shapes and compositions for a wide range of environmental, aerospace, biomedical, chemical, telecommunications, automotive, manufacturing, and defense applications.
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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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