Studies on Urease Mediated Nanoparticle Formation
AIChE Annual Meeting
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:30pm
In order to perform the methods that were employed by Dr. Sharma, several different purities of urease will be tested for their effects on the reduction of ionic metals by potassium carbonate. When the correct concentration of urease is used, incubation of each solution will change its color, according to the spectrum of the nanoparticle present: red for gold particles, yellow for silver nanoparticles, and black/brown for platinum nanoparticles. There will be limited or no precipitate present in solution, and the solution will be homogenous. Thus far, Ag(NO)3 has been put through several solutions containing ranges of 2mg/mL Urease to 20mg/mL Urease solution. In some cases, precipitate was formed almost immediately. Since then, the pH has been scaled down to match that of Dr. Sharmaâ??s procedure. It is believed that the high alkalinity due to potassium carbonate catalyzed the formation of a precipitate, preventing the solution any opportunity to slowly form nanoparticles.
At the time that the methods have been successfully recreated and the nanoparticles have been formed, the particles will be tested by several methods including cryo-electron microscopy. This will be performed in order to solve for the structure of urease, as well as urease after the particles have been captured. The two structures will be compared in order to evaluate what about the enzymeâ??s structure has facilitated the nanoparticle capture. This will serve to reveal the mechanism of the reaction.
Nanoparticles have been utilized in the creation of microstructures1, and are an essential building block for the future of nanotechnology. Cost efficiency of nanoparticle synthesis is extremely crucial for the branching of nanotechnology into other fields of science and technology. The information provided by structural analysis of urease will ideally be beneficial towards the synthesis of more cost efficient enzymes, making particle synthesis less expensive, and therefore making nanoparticles more available to the scientific and industrial communities.
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