Study of the chemical and physical influences upon in vitro peptide-mediated silica formation

Biomacromolecules. 2004 Mar-Apr;5(2):261-5. doi: 10.1021/bm034232c.


Herein, we report on the ability to create complex 2-D and 3-D silica networks in vitro via polycationic peptide-mediated biosilicification under experimentally altered chemical and physical influences. These structures differ from the sphere-like silica network of particles obtained in vitro under static conditions. Under chemical influences, overall morphologies were observed to shift from a characteristic network of sphere-like silica particles to a sheetlike structure in the presence of -OH groups from additives and to sharp-edged, platelike structures in the presence of larger polycationic peptide matrixes. Under physical influences, using externally applied force fields, overall silica morphologies were observed to transition from sphere-like to fiberlike and dendrite-like structures. These findings could lead to the future development of bio-inspired complex 2-D and 3-D silica micro- and nano-devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Polyamines / chemistry
  • Polyelectrolytes
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry*
  • Static Electricity


  • Peptides
  • Polyamines
  • Polyelectrolytes
  • polycations
  • Silicon Dioxide