Functionalization of the living diatom thalassiosira weissflogii with thiol moieties
del Monte, Francisco
Rodriguez, Brian J.
Finn, David P.
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Lang, Yvonne; del Monte, Francisco; Collins, Liam; Rodriguez, Brian J. Thompson, Kerry; Dockery, Peter; Finn, David P.; Pandit, Abhay (2013). Functionalization of the living diatom thalassiosira weissflogii with thiol moieties. Nature Communications 4 ,
Biomineralization processes identified within diatoms have inspired the design of synthetic silica structures in vitro using alkoxysilane precursors. Here we explore the use of the machinery within the living diatom to fabricate organo-silica constructs using a combination of alkoxysilane and organoalkoxysilane precursors. We report on the incorporation of thiol moieties into the diatom during frustule synthesis. Formation of valves within the parent diatom is monitored using fluorescence microscopy, and the modification of the chemical composition of the diatom is confirmed using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Si-29-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Chemical modification is achieved without loss of the nano-scale architectural features of the frustule. Extension of this work may allow the chemistry of the diatom to be tailored during synthesis.