Transverse Elastic Modulus of Tobacco Mosaic Virus Superlattice

X. Wang, H. Wang
North Dakota State University, US

Keywords: nanoscale characterization techniques and applications

Summary:

Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and TMV-derived materials have demonstrated their great potential in biomedical applications, where the mechanical property is one of the determining factors for their proper functionalities and structural integrity. Recently, it has been found that a superlattice structure can be formed by two-dimensional hexagonal packing TMV self-assembly in Barium ions solution.1 In parallel to the exploration of possible applications of TMV superlattice, the mechanical properties were characterized by the atomic force microscopy (AFM) based nanoindentation. The elastic modulus of 2.14 GPa was obtained by application of the extended Johnson-Kendall-Roberts (JKR) model with the force v.s. deformation data. The adhesion force was taken into consideration, and an easy-to-implement approach of using the extended JKR model was proposed by processing both the theoretical model and the experimental data. Finite element analysis (FEA) was conducted to evaluate the reinforcing effect of the like-charge forces of Ba2+ and the mechanical properties of the TMV superlattice. Using the Halpin-Tsai model, the transverse elastic modulus of the superlattice sample varied within 2.00 ~ 4.38 GPa, depending on the indentation locations. Attraction-repulsion equilibrium was found to maintain the packing of TMVs. This provides useful information to address the sources of the attraction and repulsion forces to control the TMV assembly.