Complex microparticle architectures from stimuli-responsive intrinsically disordered proteins.

TitleComplex microparticle architectures from stimuli-responsive intrinsically disordered proteins.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsS Roberts, V Miao, S Costa, J Simon, G Kelly, T Shah, S Zauscher, and A Chilkoti
JournalNature Communications
Start Page1342
Date Published03/2020

The controllable production of microparticles with complex geometries is useful for a variety of applications in materials science and bioengineering. The formation of intricate microarchitectures typically requires sophisticated fabrication techniques such as flow lithography or multiple-emulsion microfluidics. By harnessing the molecular interactions of a set of artificial intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), we have created complex microparticle geometries, including porous particles, core-shell and hollow shell structures, and a unique 'fruits-on-a-vine' arrangement, by exploiting the metastable region of the phase diagram of thermally responsive IDPs within microdroplets. Through multi-site unnatural amino acid (UAA) incorporation, these protein microparticles can also be photo-crosslinked and stably extracted to an all-aqueous environment. This work expands the functional utility of artificial IDPs as well as the available microarchitectures of this class of biocompatible IDPs, with potential applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering.

Short TitleNature Communications