Incorporation of fluorescent molecules and proteins into calcium oxalate monohydrate single crystals

Lara A. Touryan, Ruti H. Clark, Richard W. Gurney, Patrick S. Stayton, Bart Kahr, Viola Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A central question to understanding biomineralization is determining how biomolecules are integrated within inorganic host lattices, thereby changing material properties yet retaining single crystal structure of the biomineral. We have addressed guest incorporation within single biomineral crystals by investigating face specificity, anisotropy and the role of charges in fluorescent calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) crystals nucleated from solutions containing eosin Y, fluoresceins and rhodamines. Additionally, we have examined the specificity of incorporation of Protein G wild-type (G-wt) and its mutant (G-Δ6, in which four aspartic acids and two glutamic acids have been replaced by the corresponding asparagine or glutamine), where G-wt promotes and G-Δ6 inhibits COM crystal growth. We found that (1) the negatively charged fluorophores, as well as the fluorophore-labeled proteins, G-wt and G-Δ6, were successfully incorporated during growth into the same {110} growth sectors in preferenc e to all others; (2) the positively charged TRITC (tetramethyl rhodamine isothiocyanate) was not incorporated as free fluorophore, but it became incorporated if conjugated to G-wt and G-Δ6; (3) once the fluorophores are incorporated, the polarization measurements of adsorption and emission were similar irrespectively whether taken from COM containing the free fluorophores, or the protein conjugates. The anisotropy was similar for rhodamines and fluoresceins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-388
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 2001


  • A1. Biocrystallization
  • A1. Doping
  • B1. Calcium compounds
  • B1. Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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