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Ultrathin Hybrid Films of Polyoxohydroxy Clusters and Proteins: Layer-by-Layer Assembly and Their Optical and Mechanical Properties

Yan, You-Xian, Yao, Hong-Bin, Smart, Scott E., Mao, Li-Bo, Hu, Wei, Yuan, Shaotang, Du-Thumm, Laurence, Masters, James G., Yu, Shu-Hong, Pan, Long
Langmuir 2014 v.30 no.18 pp. 5248-5255
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-radiation, X-ray diffraction, aluminum, biocompatible materials, bovine serum albumin, coatings, electrostatic interactions, films (materials), fluorescence, hardness, hydrogen bonding, hydrolysis, mechanical properties, modulus of elasticity, scanning electron microscopes, scanning electron microscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
The hierarchical assembly of inorganic and organic building blocks is an efficient strategy to produce high-performance materials which has been demonstrated in various biomaterials. Here, we report a layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly method to fabricate ultrathin hybrid films from nanometer-scale ionic clusters and proteins. Two types of cationic clusters (hydrolyzed aluminum clusters and zirconium-glycine clusters) were assembled with negatively charged bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein to form high-quality hybrid films, due to their strong electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonding. The obtained hybrid films were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), UV–vis, Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results demonstrated that the cluster-protein hybrid films exhibited structural homogeneity, relative transparency, and bright blue fluorescence. More importantly, these hybrid films displayed up to a 70% increase in hardness and up to a 100% increase in reduced Young’s modulus compared to the pure BSA film. These hybrid cluster-protein films could be potentially used as biomedical coatings in the future because of their good transparency and excellent mechanical properties.