Zipping of Synthetic Assemblies Equipped to Produce Multifunctional Clusters for Bio-Applications - NCCR MSE

Zipping of Synthetic Assemblies Equipped to Produce Multifunctional Clusters for Bio-Applications

Contrary to the macroscopic world, the engineering of integrated systems at molecular level imposes a complex scenario of requirements, especially for assembling biotic and abiotic components with the dual aim; to preserve the specific functionality of each entity, and to induce new functionalities and properties serving a final desired application.

A variety of molecular entities such as membranes, self-adapting vesicles, and biological molecules (enzymes, proteins, mimics) can be combined to design hybrid supramolecular assemblies with multifunctionality and emerging properties. Our aim is to organize nanometer sized assemblies, such as polymer vesicles, into clusters/networks with controllable size and tunable biological properties.

We rely on molecular recognition interactions, as for example on DNA hybridization to interconnect vesicles. In addition, we use the non-hybridized single strand-DNA as a molecular anchor to bind the clusters selectively to the cell surface. Each polymer vesicle can be tailored to include biologically relevant enzymes, substrates, active molecules and membrane pores to allow communication between the compartments and cascade reactions inside. Such clusters/networks will be evaluated in vitro and in vivo to establish their interactions with cells, their stability and functionality for desired bio-applications.

Collaborations within NCCR with other research groups with competences in polymer chemistry, inorganic chemistry, molecular biology, metabolic engineering and characterization methods for complex systems/reactions will be essential for a complete design and characterization of such hybrid systems. Our platform represents an important step for development of molecular factories because it has a high potential for biological applications, such as protein therapy or active templates for regenerative medicine.


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P. U. Richard, I. Craciun, J. Gaitzsch, L. Weiner, C. G. Palivan “Delivery of ROS Generating Anthraquinones Using Reduction‐responsive Peptide‐based Nanoparticles“ Helv. Chim. Acta 2018. [DOI]
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A. Najer, S. Thamboo, C. G. Palivan, H. Beck, W. Meier “Giant Host Red Blood Cell Membrane Mimicking Polymersomes Bind Parasite Proteins and Malaria Parasites“ Chimia 2016, 4:288. [DOI]
S. J. Sigg, V. Postupalenko, J. T. Duskey, C. G. PalivanW. Meier “Stimuli-Responsive Codelivery of Oligonucleotides and Drugs by Self-Assembled Peptide Nanoparticles“ Biomacromolecules 2016, 17:935-45. [DOI]
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H. C. Schmidt, M. Spulber, M. Neuburger, C. G. Palivan, M. Meuwly, O. Wenger “Charge Transfer Pathways in Three Isomers of Naphthalene-Bridged Organic Mixed Valence Compounds“ J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81:595-602. [DOI]
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A. Najer, S. Thamboo, J. T. Duskey, W. MeierC. G. Palivan “Analysis of Molecular Parameters Determining the Antimalarial Activity of Polymer-Based Nanomimics“ Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2015, 36:1923. [DOI]
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M. Lomora, I. A. Dinu, F. Itel, S. Rigo, M. Spulber, C. G. Palivan “Does Membrane Thickness Affect the Transport of Selective Ions Mediated by Ionophores in Synthetic Membranes?“ Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2015, 36:1929. [DOI]
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T. Einfalt, G. Gunkel-Grabole, M. Spulber, A. Najer, C. G. Palivan “Supramolecular Architectures: Supramolecular Architectures from Self-Assembled Copolymers“ CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology 2015:1055-72. [DOI]
G. Tsiavaliaris, F. Itel, K. Hedfalk, S. Al-Samir, W. Meier, G. Gros, V. Endeward “Low CO2 permeability of cholesterol-containing liposomes detected by stopped-flow fluorescence spectroscopy“ FASEB J. 2015, 29:1780. [DOI]
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G. Gunkel-Grabole, S. Sigg, M. Lomora, S. Lörcher, C. G. PalivanW. Meier “Polymeric 3D nano-architectures for transport and delivery of therapeutically relevant biomacromolecules“ Biomater. Sci. 2015, 2:25. [DOI]
A. Najer, D. Wu, A. Bieri, F. Brand, C. G. Palivan, H. P. Beck, W. Meier “Nanomimics of Host Cell Membranes Block Invasion and Expose Invasive Malaria Parasites“ ACS Nano 2014, 8:12560. [DOI] [More Information]
D. Wu, M. Spulber, F. Itel, M. Chami, T. Pfohl, C. G. PalivanW. Meier “Effect of Molecular Parameters on the Architecture and Membrane Properties of 3D Assemblies of Amphiphilic Copolymers“ Macromolecules 2014, 47:5060-69. [DOI]
P. Baumann, M. Spulber, I. A. Dinu, C. G. Palivan “Cellular Trojan Horse Based Polymer Nanoreactors with Light-sensitive Activity“ J. Phys. Chem. B 2014, 118:9361. [DOI]