Steric and electrostatic complementarity in the assembly of two-dimensional virus arrays

Chin Li Cheung, Alexander I. Rubinstein, Erik J. Peterson, Anju Chatterji, Renat F. Sabirianov, Wai Ning Mei, Tianwei Lin, John E. Johnson, James J. Deyoreo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A highly ordered assembly of biological molecules provides a powerful means to study the organizational principles of objects at the nanoscale. Two-dimensional cowpea mosaic virus arrays were assembled in an ordered manner on mica using osmotic depletion effects and a drop-and-dry method. The packing of the virus array was controlled systematically from rhombic packing to hexagonal packing by modulating the concentrations of polyethylene glycol) surfactant in the virus solutions. The orientation and packing symmetry of the virus arrays were found to be tuned by the concentrations of surfactants in the sample solutions. A phenomenological model for the present system is proposed to explain the assembly array morphology under the influence of the surfactant. Steric and electrostatic complementarity of neighboring virus capsids is found to be the key factors in controlling the symmetry of packing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3498-3505
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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