As we previously described, the experimental part of the project was delayed due to the delivery of the synthetic gene. The upcoming experiments will be focused on the modified coat protein production and silver nanoparticle synthesis; these experiments should give us the experimental results needed to evaluate the validity of our model. Variations of other factors, such as temperature, pH and substrate concentration, can be made in order to determine this system’s optimum conditions.
After this model is evaluated by comparing experimental results with the current information, new reactions can be designed to take place within the same container. The use of other elements for nanoparticle synthesis, such as gold, vanadium and titanium, is possible using the same system. The modification of the N-terminal amino acids of the coat proteins can be made using site-specific mutagenesis with copies of the synthetic gene. This would allow inside functionalization with a variety of molecules, including enzymes.
In this specific case of silver nanoparticle synthesis, the system’s design led to a greater control over the silver agglomeration. This material is truly uniform, thanks to the container’s properties, and has identical properties, making it ideal for a variety of novel applications.
Likewise, many other nanomaterials would benefit from a precise system to control their properties. Complex structures can become more feasible as the reaction becomes more and more precise. Also, a “green” synthesis is a very popular research topic, and its integration with nanotechnology could provide us with a process in which no harmful byproducts.
Further research could be directed at the design of case-specific containers, each with the unique properties required in order to assure an optimum performance. As it was mentioned earlier, the final goal is to design structures that can interact and add functionality to biological systems.