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Functionalization of polysaccharide-based biomaterials and development of supramolecular materials using self-assembling peptides


One of the most challenging goals in the field of materials science is the discovery of structures with surprising properties or functionality based on designed molecules that self-organise. These structures are held together by relatively weak non-covalent interactions and thus might be easily reconfigurable into a variety of morphologies.

A promising starting point for the synthesis of such structures seems to be the use of templates made of organic molecules that arrange themselves into highly organized nanostructures and may direct the cells to attach, proliferate and selectively differentiate, by providing them signalling domains that regulate their function. This will allow the development biomaterials that are not only biocompatible and biodegradable, they can present guidance to cells. The design of self-assembling molecules that mimic complex biological structures hold promise for the development of novel multifunctional biomaterials that could lead to real breakthroughs in tissue repair and regeneration.

In the spirit of the Marie Curie OIF, this research project aims to provide an unique prospect and an excellent training programme for an European researcher to develop her investigation, in the areas of self-assembly, templating chemistry and biomaterials, by gathering two leading research institutions in the field. The research work will be developed at the Northwestern U. (Prof. Stupp, USA) in the outgoing phase and at the U. of Minho (Prof. Reis, Portugal) in the return phase.

The researcher will have the opportunity to go to a third country established research centre to acquire new skills and knowledge, professional maturity and independence, enhanced inter/multi-displinarity qualities, while broadening her international research experience. This is turn will foster the links between European and third countries' researchers and will contribute for the development of abundant and dynamic world-class human resources in the European Research system.

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United States
Lurie Building, 303 E. Superior, 11Th Floor
Chicago - Illinois