Stimuli-Controlled Binding and Transport

switchable receptorThe transport of anionic substrates across the cell membrane, which can be mediated by transport proteins, is of fundamental importance to many biological processes. Dysregulation of such transport has been associated with various diseases, for example, cystic fibrosis. In our group we employ synthetic molecular machinery to create artificial anion binding and transport systems that are responsive to external stimuli such as light and pH. Our main interest is to use these systems to influence the biological processes that are associated with transmembrane anion transport, providing an unprecedented approach to the study and treatment of diseases.

Selected key publications:
J. de Jong, et al., ChemPhysChem 2019, 20, 3306-3310
S.J. Wezenberg, et al., Nature Communications 2018, 9, 1984
S.J. Wezenberg, et al., Organic Letters 2017, 19, 324-327

Dynamic and Programmable Self-Assembly

Gel-sol transitionThe supramolecular self-assembly of advanced molecular materials requires information rich building blocks that guide the growth of well-defined architectures. We are developing stimuli-responsive building blocks for self-assembling materials with programmed structures and function, which are able to change their properties in a dynamic fashion. The first succesful steps toward the preparation of metal-organic cages, frameworks and soft materials have been taken. Our eventual goal is to apply these types of materials in, for example, molecular separation, drug delivery, and regenerative medicine.

Selected key publications:
F. Tosi, et al., Angewandte Chemie - Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 14935-14939
W. Danowski, et al., Nature Nanotechnology 2019, 14, 488-494
S.J. Wezenberg, et al., Chemical Science 2016, 7, 4341-4346