The synthesis of nanoparticles inside microorganisms is an economical alternative to chemical and physical methods of nanoparticle synthesis. In this study, ferrihydrite nanoparticles synthesized by Klebsiella oxytoca bacterium in special conditions were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDS), small-angle X-ray (SAXS), UV-Vis spectroscopy, fluorescence, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), and molecular docking. The morphology and the structure of the particles were characterized by means of SEM and SAXS. The elemental content was determined by means of the EDS method. The absorption properties of the ferrihydrite nanoparticles were investigated by UV-Vis spectroscopy. The binding mechanism of the biogenic ferrihydrite nanoparticles to Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) protein, studied by fluorescence, showed a static and weak process, combined with FRET. Protein denaturation by temperature and urea in the presence of the ferrihydrite nanoparticles demonstrated their influence on the unfolding process. The AutoDock Vina and UCSF Chimera programs were used to predict the optimal binding site of the ferrihydrite to BSA and to find the location of the hydrophobic cavities in the sub-domain IIA of the BSA structure.
Polyphenols are a family of compounds present in grapes, musts, and wines. Their dosage is associated with the grape ripening, correct must fermentation, and final wine properties. Owing to their anti-inflammatory properties, they are also relevant for health applications. To date, such compounds are detected mainly via standard chemical analysis, which is costly for constant monitoring and requires a specialized laboratory. Cheap and portable sensors would be desirable to reduce costs and speed up measurements. This paper illustrates the development of strategies for sensor surface chemical functionalization for polyphenol detection. We perform measurements by using a commercial quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring apparatus. Chemical functionalizations are based on proteins (bovine serum albumin and gelatin type A) or customized peptides derived from istatine-5 and murine salivary protein-5. Commercial oenological additives containing pure gallic tannins or proanthocyanidins, dissolved in water or commercial wine, are used for the analysis. Results indicate that selected functionalizations enable the detection of the two different tannin families, suggesting a relationship between the recorded signal and concentration. Gelatin A also demonstrates the ability to discriminate gallic tannins from proanthocyanidins. Outcomes are promising and pave the way for the exploitation of such devices for precision oenology.