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Glycan foldamers: designing oligosaccharides to build three-dimensional architectures

Objective

Natural biopolymers have inspired the development of synthetic analogues – i.e. foldamers – capable of adopting defined conformations and forming programmable three-dimensional architectures. These compounds are mainly based on peptides and nucleic acids, that are well understood at the molecular level. The diversity, intrinsic chirality, and ability to generate hierarchical assemblies suggest that carbohydrates hold an even larger potential for the generation of three-dimensional structures. However, the complexity of carbohydrate synthesis and structural analysis have prevented access to synthetic carbohydrates capable of adopting defined geometries.
I propose the creation of carbohydrate foldamers capable of 1) adopting rigid secondary structures and 2) assembling into supramolecular architectures. To achieve these goals, we will address fundamental questions related to carbohydrate structure, design new methods to stabilize particular conformations, and we will implement protocols for systematic structural analysis. State-of-the-art synthetic platforms (i.e. automated glycan assembly) and analytical techniques (i.e. NMR spectroscopy, microED, and single molecule imaging) will be the tools to complete this ambitious project. My group has proved to be very successful at gaining a basic understanding of carbohydrate structure and aggregation. Building upon these preliminary results, I aim to develop programmable carbohydrate architectures, which have the potential to open a new field of carbohydrate and supramolecular chemistry.
Analogous to the birth of a new field after the discovery of peptide-based foldamers, carbohydrate foldamers could find applications in several areas, including material science, biology, and catalysis. Moreover, carbohydrate foldamers will expand our understanding of carbohydrate structures and interactions, and new analytical protocols will standardize the characterization of carbohydrate materials.

Host institution

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV
Net EU contribution
€ 1 499 956,00
Address
HOFGARTENSTRASSE 8
80539 Munchen
Germany

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Region
Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 1 499 956,25

Beneficiaries (1)