Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is a tube-like plant virus, 300 nm in length and inner and outer diameters of 4 nm and 18 nm, respectively. Using a procedure established in our group, TMV particles with defined longitudinal domains prepared from different coat protein (CP) variants (Janus particles) can be produced. In addition, we can modify the TMV surface by chemical coupling of e.g. polymers to the viral CPs. We have linked an amphiphilic block-co-polymer (PE)11-co-(PEG)34-OH (Mw = 2250) to TMV. Compared to the not modified TMV, the hydrophobized viruses have shown different behavior in their immobilization on hydrophobic surfaces as well as in mineralization of the virus surface with ZnO. Using thiol-Michael addition, we have also coupled a thermoresponsive polymer to a cysteine-presenting variant of TMV so that the virus is hydrophilic below~8°C getting hydrophobic at higher temperatures. As the TMV with domains can be functionalized on a discrete domain, we thus produce hydrophilic/hydrophobic Janus type virus tubes. Our current work is focused on their behavior in different solvents, on surfaces with varying polarity and during mineralization.
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