Chemical Synthesis of Switchable Bioinspired Nanopores

Chemical Synthesis of Switchable Bioinspired Nanopores

Clemens-Schöpf Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry

Project Description

The basic principle of a modified nanopore is to detect chemical or physical properties transducing them through a microelectronic device into electrical signals. Therefore, such pores a highly suitable to be incorporated into miniaturized electronic components for biomedical or analytical applications. In living organisms, the transport of ions is performed by ion channels and transporters. Basic principles of the working mechanism and the reason for their efficiency/high selectivity are well understood to date. However, their functionality is only provided in mechanical instable lipid membranes. Synthetic nanopores are mainly based on silica materials or organic polymers and were demonstrated to be useful as sensory devices for analytical applications. Unfortunately, their sensitivity and selectivity are much lower than for biological pores. Thus, the combination of biological and synthetic nanopores as a hybrid pore system should overcome current limitations of conventional pore systems.

Within this project you will be involved in interdisciplinary research (collaborating with experts from material science, physics, biology and medicine) under guidance of 2nd or 3rd year PhD student developing bioinspired sensory or catalytic systems. At first glance we develop new strategies for the chemical synthesis of helix-forming peptides and membrane proteins. We develop methods to improve the membrane proteins solubility and at the same time to facilitate the availability of these class of molecules. Chemical synthesis is an advantageous method here primarily because synthetic peptides/proteins can be customized (i.e. isotopic labeling) and derivatized (i.e. incorporation of post-translational modifications) depending on the purpose of the research. Moreover, the amount of compound produced by chemical synthesis allows structural analysis and functionalization of those peptides.


• Solid phase peptide synthesis

• Liquid-phase synthesis (Organic chemistry)

• Analytical and preparative HPLC, Mass spectrometry (ESI and MALDI-TOF MS)

• CD spectroscopy and NMR

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Pre-requisites or requirements for the project

Recommended literature and preparation

Additional Information

Capacity One student
Project available until end of Dec 2019
Credits 18 ECTS