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Bio-based nano-mechano responsive films: A new step towards soft-mechano-chemistry

The development of chemo-mechano-responsive systems, systems that respond chemically to a mechanical stimulus, is an emerging field in chemistry. Most of the systems developed so far are based on affecting internal chemical bonds when molecules are put under a mechanical stress. Nature transforms a mechanical force into a chemical signal by using force induced conformational changes of proteins. The goal of the group of Strasbourg involved in this project is to develop chemo-mechano-responsive systems relying on this simple idea: developing systems which respond chemically to stretching by modifying their conformation. The focus of the group of Freiburg is centered around defined multifunctional molecules & complex renewable and resilient systems. The goal of this project is to develop a system which, by stretching a surface changes the interaction-strength between a surface immobilized receptor and its ligands. For this purpose we will design avidin monomer mutants. The mutations will allow to covalently anchor these proteins onto an elastomeric substrate and to weaken the avidin interaction with biotin upon stretching. This should allow enhancing the modulation of the avidin/biotin binding strength. This project should result in the first system where the ligand/receptor interaction can be modulated by force constituting a universal biointeraction platform for biosensing and tissue engineering.

Schiller-Gruppe UIAS_FRIAS




Prof. Pierre Schaaf

University of Strasbourg

Dr. Stefan Schiller (JF)

University of Freiburg