(150d) Computational Insights into Nanobiotechnology | AIChE

(150d) Computational Insights into Nanobiotechnology


Alexander-Katz, A. - Presenter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nanoscale interactions lie at the core of biological function and their understanding promises to bring major advances in different areas such as healthcare and the environment. It is also strongly believed that such an understanding will allow the design of new synthetic platforms able to reproduce the behavior of biological systems or interface with them in a seamless way. In this talk I will present our work on mimicking some of the properties of biological systems using nanoparticles, with an emphasis on the role that interactions with biological membranes can have. We have discovered that these nanoparticles can mimic several different functions performed by membrane proteins such as fusion proteins and transport proteins, opening new possibilities in delivering drugs, as well as serving as “artificial membrane proteins” themselves. It is important to highlight that our current molecular understanding of this system and the discoveries that came along were only possible due to careful molecular simulations that linked the observed macroscopic behavior to the microscopic world. To finalize I will give a perspective on exciting new avenues of research in this area.