Maxim P. Nikitin

Selected publications

  1. Nikitin M.P., Shipunova V.O., Deyev S.M., Nikitin P.I. (2014). Biocomputing based on particle disassembly. Nat Nanotechnol , [+]

    Nanoparticles with biocomputing capabilities could potentially be used to create sophisticated robotic devices with a variety of biomedical applications, including intelligent sensors and theranostic agents. DNA/RNA-based computing techniques have already been developed that can offer a complete set of Boolean logic functions and have been used, for example, to analyse cells and deliver molecular payloads. However, the computing potential of particle-based systems remains relatively unexplored. Here, we show that almost any type of nanoparticle or microparticle can be transformed into autonomous biocomputing structures that are capable of implementing a functionally complete set of Boolean logic gates (YES, NOT, AND and OR) and binding to a target as result of a computation. The logic-gating functionality is incorporated into self-assembled particle/biomolecule interfaces (demonstrated here with proteins) and the logic gating is achieved through input-induced disassembly of the structures. To illustrate the capabilities of the approach, we show that the structures can be used for logic-gated cell targeting and advanced immunoassays.

  2. Aghayeva U.F., Nikitin M.P., Lukash S.V., Deyev S.M. (2013). Denaturation-resistant bifunctional colloidal superstructures assembled via the proteinaceous barnase-barstar interface. ACS Nano 7 (2), 950–61 [+]

    To date, a number of biomolecule-mediated nanoparticle self-assembly systems have been developed that are amenable to controllable disassembly under relatively gentle conditions. However, for some applications such as design of self-assembled multifunctional theragnostic agents, high stability of the assembled structures can be of primary importance. Here, we report extraordinarily high durability of protein-assisted nanoparticle self-assembly systems yielding bifunctional colloidal superstructures resistant to extreme denaturing conditions intolerable for most proteins (e.g., high concentrations of chaotropic agents, high temperature). Among the tested systems (barnase-barstar (BBS), streptavidin-biotin, antibody-antigen, and protein A-immunoglobulin), the BBS is notable due to the combination of its high resistance to severe chemical perturbation and unique advantages offered by genetic engineering of this entirely protein-based system. Comparison of the self-assembly systems shows that whereas in all cases the preassembled structures proved essentially resistant to extreme conditions, the ability of the complementary biomolecular pairs to mediate assembly of the initial biomolecule-particle conjugates differs substantially in these conditions.

  3. Nikitin M.P., Zdobnova T.A., Lukash S.V., Stremovskiy O.A., Deyev S.M. (2010). Protein-assisted self-assembly of multifunctional nanoparticles. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107 (13), 5827–32 [+]

    A bioengineering method for self-assembly of multifunctional superstructures with in-advance programmable properties has been proposed. The method employs two unique proteins, barnase and barstar, to rapidly join the structural components together directly in water solutions. The properties of the superstructures can be designed on demand by linking different agents of various sizes and chemical nature, designated for specific goals. As a proof of concept, colloidally stable trifunctional structures have been assembled by binding together magnetic particles, quantum dots, and antibodies using barnase and barstar. The assembly has demonstrated that the bonds between these proteins are strong enough to hold macroscopic (5 nm-3 microm) particles together. Specific interaction of such superstructures with cancer cells resulted in fluorescent labeling of the cells and their responsiveness to magnetic field. The method can be used to join inorganic moieties, organic particles, and single biomolecules for synergistic use in different applications such as biosensors, photonics, and nanomedicine.