Here we briefly recapitulate the use of X-ray and neutron reflectometry at the air-water interface to find protein structures and thermodynamics at interfaces and test a possibility for understanding those interactions between nanoparticles and proteins which lead to nanoparticle toxicology through entry into living cells. Stable monomolecular protein films have been made at the air-water interface and, with a specially designed vessel, the substrate changed from that which the air-water interfacial film was deposited. This procedure allows interactions, both chemical and physical, between introduced species and the monomolecular film to be studied by reflectometry. The method is briefly illustrated here with some new results on protein-protein interaction between beta-casein and K-casein at the air-water interface using X-rays. These two proteins are an essential component of the structure of milk. In the experiments reported, specific and directional interactions appear to cause different interfacial structures if first, a beta-casein monolayer is attacked by a K-casein solution compared to the reverse. The additional contrast associated with neutrons will be an advantage here. We then show the first results of experiments on the interaction of a beta-casein monolayer with a nanoparticle titanium oxide sol, foreshadowing the study of the nanoparticle "corona" thought to be important for nanoparticle-cell wall penetration. Crown Copyright (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Feb 2009|