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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News Seminars

dr. Renko de Vries: Biotech protein-based polymers with exquisite control over self-assembly

When:Th 20-02-2014 16:00 - 17:00


Biotechnology has given us tools to design and produce a myriad of new types of polymers, that at least for the moment) cannot be produced using synthetic chemistry. But what to do with these tools as a polymer scientist? And what unique features could be achieved that cannot be achieved using synthetic approaches? What obstacles are so far preventing their widespread use? In this presentation I will give an overview over the work that is being done in Wageningen on protein-based block copolymers that are produced at gram scale, by secreted expression in yeast. The work is a collaborative effort of both WUR-PCC and the Food and Biobased research group, also at WUR. I will first review work on protein-based block copolymers as model systems for polymer self-assembly. Next, I will introduce work that is more application-driven, by illustrating a specific example in some detail: the design, production and characterization of protein-based polymers that mimick viral capsid proteins by co-assembling with double stranded DNA into rod-like artificial viruses that protect the DNA and transfect cells.