A phenomenological description of BslA assemblies across multiple length scales.
Bottom Line: Here we describe several self-assembled structures formed by BslA, both at interfaces and in bulk solution, over a range of length scales spanning from nanometres to millimetres.First, we observe transiently stable and highly elongated air bubbles formed in agitated BslA samples.Second, we describe elongated tubules formed by BslA interfacial films when shear stresses are applied in both a Langmuir trough and a rheometer.
Affiliation: School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, James Clerk Maxwell Building, Peter Guthrie Tait Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FD, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: We observed that when solutions of BslA were agitated or shaken the previously clear samples became notably turbid. After a length of time, the turbidity would dissipate and ultimately the samples cleared. Optical microscopy (figure 1a) revealed that the sample contained highly aspherical bubbles with high aspect ratios (8.7±5.1; see figure S1 in the electronic supplementary material for the distribution of aspect ratios). Similar irregularly shaped air bubbles stabilized by the hydrophobin HFBII have also been observed . BslA-stabilized air bubbles differ from those stabilized by HFBII in that the turbidity of HFBII-stabilized samples remains indefinitely unless sonicated. The decay of BslA-stabilized air bubbles is also in contrast to oil-in-water emulsions stabilized by BslA which remain stable for time scales of the order of years (see electronic supplementary material, figure S1).Figure 1.
Affiliation: School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, James Clerk Maxwell Building, Peter Guthrie Tait Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FD, UK.