PhD-project 1b: Self-assembly of surface proteins steered by molecular motors: experiments
PhD student: Daniel Döllerer
Supervisors: Feringa / Van Rijn
To achieve higher order cellular complexity at 2D interfaces and 3D matrices using dynamic control provided by surface confined unidirectional rotary molecular motors.
Molecular motors based on overcrowded alkenes can be beside other possible applications, grafted via different methods, such as click chemistry, amide bond formation or electrostatic interactions onto various surfaces, e.g. gold, glass, or nanoparticles. These fixed motors are then capable to convert energy gained by irradiation into controlled motion. As a consequence of this operation, a system can be driven out-of-equilibrium with molecular precision and thus influence the fate of stem cells, promoting differentiation.
However, most tissues have a 3D morphology and cell distribution, which makes it ultimately appreciable to move from 2D interfaces into 3D matrices as a growing surface. As a consequence, molecular motors attached to fiber spun meshes orchestrate more complexity and therefore a higher degree of biomimicry is obtained. Additionally, the use of photomasks generates light-induced patterns and can then direct cell adhesion. This selective adhesion results in a plethora of applications to generate double or triple cell type compositions paving a way to create 3D tissue like structures.