Nano Research

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 235–241 | Cite as

Bacteriophage M13 as a scaffold for preparing conductive polymeric composite fibers

Open Access
Research Article


Using biological templates to build one-dimensional functional materials holds great promise in developing nanosized electrical devices, sensors, catalysts, and energy storage units. In this communication, we report a versatile assembly process for the preparation of water-soluble conductive polyaniline (PANi)/M13 composite nanowires by employing the bacteriophage M13 as a template. The surface lysine residues of M13 can be derivatized with carboxylic groups to improve its binding ability to the aniline; the resulting modified M13 is denoted as m-M13. Highly negatively-charged poly(sulfonated styrene) was used both as a dopant acid and a stabilizing agent to enhance the stability of the composite fibers in aqueous solution. A transparent solution of the conductive PANi/m-M13 composite fibers can be readily obtained without any further purification step. The fibers can be easily fabricated into thin conductive films due to their high aspect ratio and good solubility in aqueous solution. This synthesis discloses a unique and versatile way of using bionanorods to produce composite fibrillar materials with narrow dispersity, high aspect ratio, and high processibility, which may have many potential applications in electronics, optics, sensing, and biomedical engineering.


Bacteriophage M13 nanofiber conductive polymer self-assembly bioconjugation 


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and NanocenterUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Bioscience and Technology Team, US Army Natick Soldier ResearchDevelopment & Engineering CenterNatickUSA

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