The NanoUANL team presents a model for synthesis of silver nanoparticle with specific dimensions within a viral capsid, using a semi-continuous tank reactor model and single-enzyme confined kinetics. We also expand on the importance of mathematics in nanoscale design, and the limitations of computer analysis.
An empty modified viral capsid, from the plant virus CCMV, was used as a container for horseradish peroxidase. Pores along the container permit only small molecules/particles to enter and exit the container, and flow is affected by an interior negative charge. Enzymatic activity with H202 releases electrons, which are accepted by silver ions in the solution. These ions are deposited when they are reduced from Ag (I) to Ag (0), and begin to nucleate, forming a nanoparticle within the inside of the container.
We succeded at modeling the nanoreactor, and were able to describe the diffusion through the pores of the capsid, and accumulation of the product on the interior.