This project targets the development of new enzyme-based techniques for the polymeric modification of functionalised surfaces and interfaces. Enzymes are expected to play a major role in future material preparation due to the mild conditions and remarkable enantioselectivity. In its infancy in material science, biocatalysis is an emerging field in polymer chemistry and successful integration of both disciplines would exploit the advantages of enzymatic catalysis for novel well-defined materials. Stable polymer brushes covalently bonded on a silicon surface by chemical modification can provide excellent mechanical and chemical protection, alter the electrochemical characteristics, and provide new pathways for surface functionalisation.
Micropatterned polymer brushes are of crucial importance to the development of biochips and biosensor. Controlled modification of surface functionality is a key feature in the development of chemically based nanotechnology. The ability to carry out biochemical reactions catalysed by enzymes with nanoscale precision at a surface is an important goal in the development of bottom-up nanomanufacturing. The principle aim of this project is to investigate the biocatalytic modification of functional surfaces/interfaces using the unique features of enzymes. Success in this area will be of significant interest to European industry.
The ability to take this technology to the nanoscale will be novel research with high risk counterbalanced by high reward for both the biomedical, pharmaceutical and ICT industries in Europe. The approach is highly innovative and interdisciplinary and the knowledge required can only be achieved by bringing together the mutual skill-sets of the host and the applicant with the extremely high level training environment at the Technical University Eindhoven.
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