College of Engineering
Materials Engineering Department
BS in Materials Engineering
Trevor Harding, Shanju Zhang
Amyloid nanofibrils are natural materials capable of self-assembling into precise structures with tunable functionalities, while exhibiting excellent mechanical properties. In combination with highly conductive graphene oxide (GO), the 1-D amyloid nanofibrils and 2-D nanosheets of GO can produce a robust and bio-functional nanohybrid, hypothesized to exhibit multi-domain functional properties useful for enzyme sensing, water purification, drug delivery, and tissue scaffolding applications. Here, we examine the properties of an amyloid-graphene oxide nanohybrid film made with amyloids derived from hen egg white lysozymes in an attempt to explore the diverse toolbox of amyloid derivatives and establish ideal fabrication methods and formulations of maximization of biofunctionality. Ideal methods for producing a stable and robust nanohybrid material will result in exfoliation of graphene oxide with the adherence of dispersed amyloid fibril structures between planes. In this study XRD is utilized to determine if exfoliation is achieved across varied film compositions. AFM, POM, FTIR and DSC were utilized to confirm successful formation of amyloids and graphene oxide and examine thermal property effects across varied compositions. Results from XRD tests suggested intercalation rather than exfoliation was achieved, and that increasing the weight percentage of amyloids correlated to an increase in the inter-sheet spacing between graphene oxide planes. From DSC tests, an irreversible stress relaxation effect was observed due to residual stress from film casting.