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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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Imidazole catalyzed silica synthesis: Progress toward understanding the role of histidine in (bio)silicification

Patwardhan, Siddharth V (2009) Imidazole catalyzed silica synthesis: Progress toward understanding the role of histidine in (bio)silicification. Journal of Materials Research, 24 (4). pp. 1700-1708. ISSN 0884-2914

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Abstract

Histidine is an amino acid present in proteins involved in biosilica formation and often found in peptides identified during phage display studies but its role(s) and the extent of its involvement in the silica precipitation process is not fully understood. In this contribution we describe results from an in vitro silicification study conducted using poly-histidine (P-His) and a series of different molecular weight synthetic polymers containing the imidazole functionality (polyvinyl imidazole, PVI) for comparison. We show that the presence of imidazole from PVI or P-His is able to catalyze silicic acid condensation; the effect being greater for P-His. The catalytic mechanism is proposed to involve the dual features of the imidazole group-its ability to form hydrogen bonds with silicic acid and electrostatic attraction toward oligomeric silicic acid species.