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Phase-separated block copolymer nanoparticles for spatial organization of enzymes: A new strategy to control enzyme cascade reactions


"Nature has the unique ability to program macroscopic functions via the morphology of nano-scopic systems. One way the cell can control a certain metabolic pathway is by spatial separation of functional macromolecules. Transferring this high level of control to artificial materials would allow not only to study the influence of spatial effects on biochemical pathways, but also to develop new technologies for non-cellular applications. These include the environment-friendly and high-yielding preparation of valuable chemicals or synthetic intermediates. To address this task, the proposed project will exploit the power of controlled block copolymers phase-separation in the confinement of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles can provide structural support and spatial proximity that could ultimately increase product formation. In this context, nanostructured particles are ideal candidates providing unique domains for enzyme compartmentalization by external post-assembly functionalization. In this research project we propose to use poly(styrene)-block-poly(butadiene) nanoparticles as a matrix for post-assembly and domain-selective anchoring of enzymes. For this, two new functionalized polymeric surfactants will be obtained: poly(styrene)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)-""X"" and poly(butadiene)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)-""Y"". Where ""X"" and ""Y"" represent orthogonal reactive groups, which should allow selective attachment of any two enzymes. We proposed the synthesis of striped ellipsoidal nanoparticles where each domain will contain one type of enzyme of a cascade system. We aim for this tandem configuration of one enzyme next to the other to increase the rate of the overall enzymatic reaction. The success of this project could ultimately change the paradigm of the conventional chemistry industry to an environment-friendly approach."


Net EU contribution
€ 174 806,40
Kaiserswerther Strasse 16-18
14195 Berlin

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Berlin Berlin Berlin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00