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Key-lock copolymers: From self-assembly to therapy

English title Key-lock copolymers: From self-assembly to therapy
Applicant Nardin Corinne Rosa
Number 107894
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Physikalische Chemie Departement Chemie Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Physical Chemistry
Start/End 01.09.2005 - 30.09.2007
Approved amount 100'027.00
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Keywords (12)

supramolecular polymers; self-assembly; key-lock biological interaction; base pairing; Macromolecular chemistry; synthesis; nanobiotechnology; copolymer; technology; bioassays; multifunctional materials; interfacial phenomena

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
We suggest an interdisciplinary approach to the design of hierarchicallyself-assembling copolymers. The proposed key-lock copolymers consist of atleast two incompatible homopolymers (e. g. hydrophobic vs. hydrophilic)linked via a non covalent, yet strong, stable and highly specificbiological interaction resulting from peptide recognition or base pairing.In a selective solvent, the key- and lock-homopolymers simply imbricate as‘LEGO’ pieces forming a key-lock copolymer, which itself self-assemblesinto nanostructures. In addition, due to the built-in sensitivity of thebiological key-lock towards environment stimuli such as pH or ionicstrength, the resulting key-lock copolymer nano-structures areintrinsically sensitive to their surrounding. In a dilute aqueoussolution, the key-lock copolymers spontaneously self-assemble intostimuli-responsive micelles with sizes in the nanometer range. This routeconsents comfortable synthesis and purification routes of the key- andlock-homopolymers. Besides, the versatility of this system enables thevariation of many parameters in a systematic and adaptable way (e. g. thehomopolymers composition, length or structure and/or the biological linktype). Integrating polymer physical chemistry and biology, these key-lockcopolymers meet the high need of the nanotechnology area in preparingorganized and functional nano-structures in a controlled and flexible way.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
118144 Nucleo-copolymers: nucleotide-based amphiphilic copolymers 01.10.2007 Project funding