Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Jin Zhang


Incorporating proteins with nanomaterials is an effective way to enhance the stability and function of proteins. The protein-nanomaterials hybrid systems have been extensively applied in drug delivery and biocatalysis. This thesis focuses on the different interactions between proteins and nanomaterials. Three sub-projects have been studied as follows;

1) Chemical interaction: Gold nanoparticles with a particle size of 15nm were applied to label bovine serum albumin (BSA), a globular protein, for realizing a colorimetric protein assay. The results of FTIR and Raman spectra indicate that gold nanoparticles bond to BSA via the amine bonds. The surface plasma resonance (SPR) of gold nanoparticle labelled BSA shows a linear relationship with the concentration of BSA.

2) Electrostatic interaction: To make enzyme stable and recyclable in biocatalysis, the enzyme, carbonic anhydrase (CA), was immobilized on zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods via electrostatic interaction. The highest immobilization ratio (60%) is achieved at pH 8.0. The CO2 capturing by the immobilized CA has been investigated. It is found that a 2.2×2.2cm ZnO nanorod chip with 0.75mg immobilized CA could capture up to 6mmol CO2 in 100mL water.

3) Multiple interactions: Via hydrogen bond and electrostatic interaction, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was incorporated within chitosan and silica nanoparticles, respectively. In vitro release tests indicate that chitosan and silica nanoparticles could achieve a sustained bFGF release up to 230 and 180 hours, respectively. The bFGF-loaded nanoparticles were afterwards immobilized within HEMA hydrogel. The nanoparticle-HEMA nanocomposites can provide a localized sustained protein release without systematic absorption.

The incorporation of proteins with nanomaterials can enhance the stability and activity of proteins which are otherwise prone to denaturation.