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Non-Peptide Polymeric Silicatein R Mimic for Neutral pH Catalysis in the Formation of Silica

Summary: Non-Peptide Polymeric Silicatein R Mimic for Neutral pH Catalysis in
the Formation of Silica
Douglas H. Adamson,*, Daniel M. Dabbs, Carlos R. Pacheco, Marcus V. Giotto,,|
Daniel E. Morse,# and Ilhan A. Aksay*,
Department of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemistry, and the Princeton Institute for the
Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), Princeton UniVersity, Princeton, New Jersey 08540; the
Carlson School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Clark UniVersity, Worcester, Massachusetts 01610; and
the Department of Molecular, Cellular and DeVelopmental Biology, UniVersity of California at
Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California 93106
ReceiVed December 5, 2006; ReVised Manuscript ReceiVed May 21, 2007
ABSTRACT: We have synthesized a catalytically active polymer inspired by the naturally occurring protein
silicatein R and have shown it to catalyze the formation of silica from tetraethoxysilane under near-neutral pH
and ambient temperatures. We based the composition of the polymer on the functionalities found in silicatein R,
specifically those essential components of the catalytically active site for the hydrolysis of silicon alkoxides. Our
bioinspired polymer is a block copolymer of poly(2-vinylpyridine-b-1,2-butadiene), functionalized by the addition
of hydroxyl groups via hydroboration chemistry. The catalytic action of our polymer on tetraethoxysilane at
neutral pH and ambient temperature conditions has been confirmed using a modified molybdic acid assay method,
thermogravimetric analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The structure of the resulting gel is
investigated by scanning electron microscopy and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance. The microscopic features
of the material formed resemble that of gels formed by the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of tetraethoxysilane.


Source: Aksay, Ilhan A. - Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University


Collections: Materials Science