Properties of synthetic ferrihydrite as an amino acid adsorbent and a promoter of peptide bond formation

Abstract

Ferrihydrite, an iron oxide hydroxide, is found in all kinds of environments, from hydrothermal hot springs to extraterrestrial materials. It has been shown that this material is nanoporous, and because of its high surface area, it has outstanding adsorption properties and in some cases catalysis properties. In this work we studied the adsorption properties of ferrihydrite with respect to amino acids. Samples of pure ferrihydrite were synthesised and exposed to solutions of amino acids including both proteinaceous and non-proteinaceous species. These experiments revealed important characteristics of this mineral as both an adsorbent of amino acids and a promoter of peptide bond formation.

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