From Supramolecular Polymers to Compartmentalized Systems

Prize: ERCAdvancedScientific


This ERC Grant proposal aims to explore the many challenges offered by non-covalent synthesis of functional supramolecular systems. This proposal will use the many possibilities of supramolecular polymers and how we envisage the construction of supramolecular compartmentalized systems based on specific secondary interactions. By studying the mechanisms of the formation of supramolecular polymers, new entrees are foreseen to limit the degree of supramolecular polymers by anti-cooperative mechanisms and to control both the depolymerization and polymerization aiming at supramolecular polymerization processes out of equilibrium. These insights will be used to design, synthesize and self-assembly materials that dynamically adapt their properties to cells that are brought in contact with these biomaterials. With these materials, parts of a bioartificial kidney will be made. With all the knowledge obtained through the years, we have recently introduced a concept to stepwise create folded macromolecules making use of our well-known supramolecular units. These single chain nanoparticles with internal structure are now proposed to be the starting point for making compartmentalized three-dimensional systems that possess functionality similar to proteins. Therefore, also novel techniques to synthesize well-defined polymers are introduced.
Degree of recognitionInternational
Granting OrganisationsEuropean Research Council