Interaction of Metal Ions with Proteins as a Source of Inspiration for Biomimetic Materials
Published:13 Jul 2015
Nature provides us with great inspiration for the development of new materials and molecules by showing us the breadth and range of possibilities that can be achieved. One such area is the use of metal ions for catalysis of chemical reactions, transport of molecules and the formation of materials. This is all achieved through coupling metal ions to proteins either directly or through the use of organic molecules such as porphyrin rings. In this chapter we will explore the wide range of functions that proteins containing metal ions are involved in to provide us with inspiration on what can potentially be achieved. This will include the role of zinc ions as an example of a specific ion followed by examination of enzymatic reactions of non-haem-oxygenases and binuclear metallohydrolases, as well as porphyrin-containing proteins and the use of the latter in transport. We will then look at the use of metal ions in the formation of materials such as silks, amyloids, and mussel byssus and glue.