There is strong interest in the development of novel functionalized membranes which can be used as microsieves, as a component of integrated analytical systems, in food processing, drug discovery and diagnostic applications. This project is based on a combination of three break-through technologies, developed by the applicants in the past, with high impact for nano(bio)technological application: (i) the S-layer technology allowing the construction of nanoporous protein lattices, (ii) the biocatalytic formation of inorganic materials by silicatein, a group of unique enzymes capable to catalyze the formation of porous silica from soluble precursors, and (iii) the sol-gel technique for encapsulation (immobilization) of biomolecules serving as biocatalyst or as a component of sensors. The goal of this project is to design and fabricate - based on molecular biology inspired approaches - nano-porous bio-inorganic membranes with novel functionalities for industrial application. These membranes will be formed by S-layer proteins, which are able to assemble to highly ordered structures of defined pore-size, and recombinant silicateins or silicatein fusion proteins. The hydrated silica glass layer formed by silicatein will be used to encase biocatalysts (enzymes) or antibodies against small molecules as sample prep- or sensor components of integrated systems. The innovative type of the functionalized membranes developed in this project thus exploits two principles: (i) protein self-assembly and - and this has not been done before - (ii) enzymatic (silicatein-mediated) deposition of inorganic material used for reinforcement of the membranes as well as for encasing biomolecules, providing the membranes with new functionalities. The new technique will be exploited by three research-based SMEs and the enduser involved in the project, in microfluidics based sample processing and micro-array development, in industrial nanosieves, as well as in sensors in drinking water systems.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/10 → 31/12/12|