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Research

DYNANO’s Scientific Context


From Dynamic Chemistry… 

Constitutional dynamic chemistry allows for the simple generation of large chemical systems from small sets of building blocks based on reversible interconversion between the system constituents.

... To Dynamic Interactive Nanosystems

Constitutional dynamic chemistry is becoming increasingly important in nanotechnology: it gives rise to complex dynamic interactive nanosystems. These systems undergo a continual evolution in constitution, which produces structural diversity at a nanoscale level.

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                      From Constitutional Dynamic chemistry to Dynamic Interactive Nanosystems


Dynamic Interactive Nanosystems’ advantages

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Dynamic complex systems can give rise to emergent/adaptive properties and functions that result from the interactions between components and that go beyond the properties of any of  the isolated system-components.

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A complex system “collects” information about all its components and the interactional mechanisms between components should accumulate properties of interest of all these system-components to be expressed simultaneously.

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The dynamic features of such complex networks generate new opportunities to further modify and engineer such systems. This makes the proposed Dynamic Systems a great source of knowledge, highly relevant for a huge variety of direct applications.

 

Glyconanoplatforms as multivalent nanodevices


Our recent understanding of the functions of post-synthetically modified biomolecules is central to the field of glycobiology, where highly intricate structures form the basis for a wide variety of biological functions related to cell- and molecular communication.


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Cell surface carbohydrate interactions

This wide variety of biological functions has led to the concept of a "glycocode", involving the origin of biological information transfer by carbohydrates (glycans), and taking into account the various levels of information (molecular structure, shape, movement).

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The general "decoding devices" for the information stored in glycan structures in biological systems are specific proteins (lectins) acting through selective carbohydrate-protein interactions. Furthermore, the biorecognition processes are governed by concerted, multiple interactions or "multivalency".




DYNANO addresses the multivalency feature (multiple interactions) and its effects on glycan recognition in a highly distinctive way: the information content & quality stored in glycan ensembles will be studied using biomimetic nanoplatforms.

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Applications in biomedicine and biotechnology


Real-time label-free analysis of biological interactions

An important way to tackle the above challenges in terms of application is related to surface-based systems for biosensing in terms of real-time label-free analysis of biological interactions. These systems often exploit the electro-optical properties of metals, piezoelectric properties (Quartz Crystal Microbalance, QCM) and electrochemical transduction.

QCM has been used extensively in e.g. DNA hybridisation, protein-protein and protein-carbohydrate interactions. However, a general limitation in QCM methodology is the small molecule sensitivity. Amplification methods are required in order to study such biorecognition processes, and the biosensing nanosystems developed within DYNANO can be directly adapted to these instrument platforms.

Cell assays, drug development & diagnostics

The data obtained thanks to DYNANO will be important in drug development and diagnostics, predominantly regarding cancer, since tumours with increased ratio of stem cell-like cells are characterised with unfavourable prognoses for the patients.

During inflammation, there is tremendous molecular plasticity of the tissues, and many of the modifications are dynamic.  These dynamic modifications have not yet been investigated systematically, and DYNANO's team takes up the challenge.



 

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