IAS Fellows' Seminar - Multivalent molecular interactions: Bridging time and length scales
Multivalency is the phenomenon that describes the interaction between multivalent receptors and multivalent ligands. It is well known to play a pivotal role in biology, particularly in protein-carbohydrate interactions, both in solution and at interfaces, for example in the infection caused by influenza. In biological systems, multivalency is often poorly understood in a quantitative sense.
Supramolecular chemistry has been well established in solution, but its use at interfaces remains limited to for example sensor development for specific guest compounds. In order to build assemblies at surfaces through supramolecular interactions for nanotechnological applications, other demands have to be met, such as larger thermodynamic and kinetic stabilities of the assemblies. For many supramolecular motifs, this inevitably leads to the use of multivalent interactions.
These disciplines meet at the multivalent interface. A key point of the current presentation will be the transition area between slowly and rapidly exchanging multivalent interactions, and their influence on the dynamics and overall functioning of supramolecular systems, both in solution and on surfaces. It will be explained how this concept can lead to the design of artificial systems to study the interaction between influenza and a cell surface, which together provide a deeper understanding of this interaction. Moreover, it will be addressed how the concept of multivalency functions as a bridge to explain connections between molecular and biological processes at different length and time scales.
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