Philipp M. G. Löffler

"Bio-inspired chemistry – can we engineer (self)assembly lines at the nanoscale"

Philipp M. G. Löffler
29/03 2017
12:15-13:15, Danish IAS conference room (Ø18-509-1)
IDEAS

Biology presents us with the most sophisticated nanotechnology on Earth today. Life’s ability to control on the smallest scales – from playing with chemical bonds to dividing an entire cell – is unsurpassed in complexity and elegance. At the Biomolecular Nanoscale Engineering Center (BioNEC) we create simple analogs to natures technology. In the group of Prof. Stefan Vogel (BioNEC), we mimic a process necessary for the release of neurotransmitters in the brain and processing of proteins in eukaryotic cells: the fusion of nanosized membranous containers, vesicles. Now, let’s think of vesicle fusion as mixing the contents of two very tiny reaction flasks – containing different molecules – triggering a chemical reaction. In the lab, we fuse together model vesicles using the double-helix formation of DNA as a driving force. DNAs unique sequence recognition lets us design “DNA-programmed” molecular assembly lines that ultimately could synthesize a desired compound without intervention by the scientist.