Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CLASSY (Cell-Like ‘Molecular Assembly Lines’ of Programmable Reaction Sequences as Game-Changers in Chemical Synthesis)
Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2020-10-31
In relation to the first global objective of CLASSY, we have set-up a (prototypical) microfluidic reactor to study compartmentalised catalysts. The followed strategy has involved immobilising catalysts (in this case enzymes) inside microfluidically-prepared, monodisperse, hydrogel beads, and then loading these beads in microfluidic reactors. We have tested these reactors, and they allow us to study catalytic properties of the enzymes (Figure 1A).
In a parallel line of work towards the second objective, we have developed two different families of nucleic acid (NA)-peptide hybrids that can replicate through complementary base-pairing interactions, that is, with informational control on the replication process. This will be crucial to program their potential catalytic roles by tuning the auto- and cross-catalytic pathways in which they are involved (Figure 1B).
Finally, in order to address the possible selective activation/deactivation of catalysts in complex reaction sequences (Figure 1C), we have explored a few challenges associated with the biocatalysts intended to work on, especially concerning the stability during purification and expression as well as certain compatibility issues of bio- and organocatalysts. En route to the development of switchable cascade reactions in continuous flow, a method to control a single switchable enzyme with light has been addressed.