Functional polymeric architectures

Life-like Nanosystems and Architectures

Chemistry of Self-Assembly in Living Systems

Self-organization in Nature is a fascinating phenomenon where molecules form transient supramolecular or dynamic bonds on demand. In this area, we focus extensively on designing molecules that self-assembles within a living environment i.e. in a cell. This involves the understanding of the biological environment and the necessary triggers in order to control, both time and location, of the assembly process. By creating synthetic architectures within the living cell, we hope to derive nanostructures that would provide complementary functions in biology.

Interface Engineering of (Bio)macromolecule-Polymer Nanostructures

The core focus of this topic uses the architectural perfection of biomacromolecules such as proteins and DNA to provide a framework around polymer chemistry. Nanoscale structures such as DNA origamis and denatured proteins offer a monodisperse template with pre-determined geometry and chemistry. By programming this orientation of functional group exposure on the macromolecular structure, polymerization reactions can be spatially controlled to map a designated architecture.

In addition, these hybrid structures can be made functional and responsive depending on the chemistry that is chosen for both the polymerization and synthetic motifs. We collaborate extensively to bring elucidate the influence of shape in biomedicine and physiological environments.

Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 3471; © 2014 American Chemical Society Zoom Image
Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 3471; © 2014 American Chemical Society

Selected Publications

Y. Tokura, S. Harvey, C. Chen, Y. Wu, D.Y.W. Ng, T. Weil. Fabrication of defined polydopamine nanostructures by DNA origami-templated polymerization. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 1587-1591

D.Y.W. Ng, R. Vill, Y. Wu, K. Koynov, Y. Tokura, W. Liu, S. Sihler, A. Kreyes, S. Ritz, H. Barth, U. Ziener, T. Weil. Directing intracellular supramolecular assembly with N-heteroaromatic quaterthiophene analogues. Nat. Commun. 2017, 8 (1850), 1.

C. Seidler, D.Y.W. Ng, T. Weil. Native protein hydrogels by dynamic boronic acid chemistry. Tetrahedron Special Issue to Ben Feringa 2017, 73, 4979.

A. Riegger, C. Chen, O. Zirafi, N. Daiss, K. Walter, Y. Tokura, B. Stöckle, F. Kirchhoff, D. Y. W. Ng, P. C. Hermann, J. Münch, T. Weil. “Synthesis of Peptide-Functionalized Poly(bis-sulfone) Copolymers Regulating HIV-1 Entry and Cancer Stem Cell Migration”  ACS Macro Lett. 2017, 6, 241-246.

S. Schmid, D.Y.W. Ng, E. Mena-Osteritz, Y. Wu, T. Weil, P. Bäuerle. Self-assembling Oligothiophene-Bolaamphiphiles for Loading and Controlled Release of Doxorubicin. Chem. Commun. 2016, 15, 3235.

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