Modeling the binding of peptides on carbon nanotubes and their use as protein and DNA carriers
An in-depth study of a novel functionalization of carbon nanotubes for their application as protein and DNA carriers is presented. First, the optimum conditions for the dispersion of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with amphiphilic polypeptides were obtained, and the SWCNT–polypeptide complexes were characterized by different techniques (UV–Vis-NIR, CD, and AFM). Based on the properties of the SWCNT–polypeptide complexes, a model that characterizes the adsorption of natural proteins onto SWCNT was described for the first time. This model predicts the adsorption of natural proteins on SWCNTs based on the protein structure and composition, and therefore, allows the design of methods for the preparation of SWCNT–protein complexes. Besides, the use of cationic-designed amphiphilic polypeptides to disperse SWCNTs is applied for subsequent and efficient binding of DNA to carbon nanotubes by a bilayer approach. Therefore, in this article, we develop procedures for the use of SWCNTs as protein and DNA carriers. The systems were delivered into cells showing that the efficiency of delivery is affected by the charge of the complexes, which has important implications in the use of SWCNT as platforms for protein and DNA binding and subsequent use as delivery systems.