DOI: 10.1002/smll.202300362 ISSN:

Synthesis of Butterfly‐Like Shaped Gold Nanomaterial: For the Regulation of Liquid–Liquid Phase‐Separated Biomacromolecule Droplets

Tomohiro Nobeyama, Koji Tataka, Megumi Mori, Tatsuya Murakami, Yoichi Yamada, Kentaro Shiraki
  • Biomaterials
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemistry


Nanotechnology is a critical tool to manipulate the sophisticated behavior of biological structures and has provided new research fields. Liquid–liquid phase‐separated (LLPS) droplets gather attention as basic reaction fields in a living cell. Droplets play critical roles in regulating protein behavior, including enzyme compartmentalization, stress response, and disease pathogenesis. The dynamic manipulation of LLPS droplet formation/deformation has become a crucial target in nanobiotechnology. However, the development of nanodevices specifically designed for this purpose remains a challenge. Therefore, this study presents butterfly‐shaped gold nanobutterflies (GNBs) as novel nanodevices for manipulating LLPS droplet dynamics. The growth process of the GNBs is analyzed via time‐lapse electroscopic imaging, time‐lapse spectroscopy, and additives assays. Interestingly, GNBs demonstrate the ability to induce LLPS droplet formation in systems such as adenosine triphosphate/poly‐

‐lysine and human immunoglobulin G, whereas spherical and rod‐shaped gold nanoparticles exhibit no such capability. This indicates that the GNB concave surface interacts with the droplet precursors facilitating the LLPS droplet formation. Near‐infrared‐laser irradiation applied to GNBs enables on‐demand deformation of the droplets through localized heat effects. GNB regulates the enzymatic reaction of lysozymes. The innovative design of GNBs presents a promising strategy for manipulating LLPS dynamics and offers exciting prospects for future research.

More from our Archive