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S-layer directed nanoscale fluid mechanics

Project Leader
Pum Dietmar, Project Leader
Type of Research
Basic Research
Sleytr Uwe B., Sub Projectleader
Toca-Herrera José Luis, Sub Projectleader
Breitwieser Andreas, Project Staff
Ladenhauf Eva Maria, Project Staff (bis 30.06.2016)
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Biophysik
Funded by
Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Wilson Blvd. 4015, VA 22203-1954 Arlington, United States (USA)
The main objective of this research project is the investigation of the anti-fouling properties and fluid mechanics of S-layers.

Bacterial S(urface)-layers are the most commonly observed cell surface structures in prokaryotic organisms (Bacteria and Archaea). S-layers are isoporous protein mesh works with unit cell sizes in the range of 3 to 30 nm, thicknesses of 5 to 10 nm (up to 70 nm in archaea), and pore sizes of 2 to 8 nm. S-layer lattices are formed in solution or at various interfaces including solid supports by self-assembly of the constituent native or recombinant proteins.

Many of the specific functions assigned to S-layers depend on the completeness of the covering and the structural and physicochemical repetitive uniformity down to the sub-nanometer scale. However, a striking feature of S-layers are their excellent anti-fouling properties that can be deduced from TEM-micrographs of freeze-etched preparations. In this context, it may be speculated that this phenomenon may also lead to a reduced flow resistance in water and consequently to a higher motility of the flagella driven cell. Both phenomena shall be studied on the basis of the assumption that the structure of the water layer “locked-in” by the S-layer is modified.

The results of this work are primarily relevant for basic research concerning fluid mechanics on molecular scale as determined by the natural S-layer self-assembly system. Nevertheless, we would like to anticipate that the achievements might provide the basis for novel developments in biocompatible non-wetting surfaces as required in micro total analysis systems (uTAS), (bio)chemical sensors, High Throughput Screening (HTS) devices for DNA analysis, or ink jet printing of complex fluids.
rheology; self-cleaning surfaces; S-layer proteins; fluid mechanics; water structure;

Pum, D; Toca-Herrera, JL; Sleytr, UB (2018): S-layer directed nanoscale fluid mechanics.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), 54

Pum, D; Toca-Herrera, JL; Sleytr, UB; (2016): S-layer directed nanoscale fluid mechanics.

Finanziert von: Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), 24

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