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Functionalizing silica sol-gel with entrapped plant virus-based immunosorbent nanoparticles.


Advancements in understanding and engineering of virus-based nanomaterials (VBNs) for biomedical applications motivate a need to explore the interfaces between VBNs and other biomedically-relevant chemistries and materials. While several strategies have been used to investigate some of these interfaces with promising initial results, including VBN-containing slow-release implants and VBN-activated bioceramic bone scaffolds, there remains a need to establish VBN-immobilized three dimensional materials that exhibit improved stability and diffusion characteristics for biosensing and other analyte-capture applications. Silica sol-gel chemistries have been researched for biomedical applications over several decades and are well understood; various cellular organisms and biomolecules (e.g., bacteria, algae, enzymes) have been immobilized in silica sol-gels to improve viability, activity, and form factor (i.e., ease of use). Here we present the immobilization of an antibody-binding VBN in silica sol-gel by pore confinement. We have shown that the resulting system is sufficiently diffuse to allow antibodies to migrate in and out of the matrix. We also show that the immobilized VBN is capable of antibody binding and elution functionality under different buffer conditions for multiple use cycles. The promising results of the VBN and silica sol-gel interface indicate a general applicability for VBN-based bioseparations and biosensing applications.

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