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  Journal of Nanoscience Letters 2012, 2: 14
  Review Article
Ferritin as a model nanomaterial: Nanolithography and scanning probe microscopy studies
  Stephanie L. Daniels, Wilson K. Serem , Jayne C. Garno  
Chemistry Department,Louisiana State University, 232 Choppin Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
  The iron storage protein ferritin is a model nanomaterial because of unique properties and exquisitely regular, small dimensions. This review highlights the application of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) for molecular-level studies of ferritin. Experimental protocols accomplished in ambient or liquid environments can be accomplished with SPM to routinely achieve molecular resolution. Scanning probe instruments have been applied to resolve molecular features, as well as for studies of mechanical, electronic, and magnetic properties of ferritin. Well-defined nanostructures of ferritin have been prepared using approaches based on micro-contact printing, particle lithography, and scanning probe-based nanolithography. Certain minerals can be encapsulated within the core by the protein shell of ferritin, for tailoring material properties at the nanoscale. The studies with ferritin as a biosynthetic reaction vessel provide unique capabilities as a nano building-block for preparing functional metal nanoparticle arrays, towards development of nanodevices.
  Ferritin; Atomic force microscopy; Scanning probe microscopy; Nanolithography; Nanodevices  

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