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Electrostatic self-assembly of photoactive protein biohybrid materials

Eduardo Anaya (Aalto University, Finland)
Thursday, 18 April 2024 15:30

Place: conference room, IMDEA Nanociencia.


Proteins represent one of the most versatile biomacromolecules employed by Nature to address structural, recognition, transport, and catalytic functions. These macromolecules present a pH-dependent surface charge, that makes them suitable candidates for self-assembled materials bound by electrostatic interactions. Recently, a very exciting field has arisen, developing highly ordered materials by combination of proteins and a crystallization agent.[1,2] Among them, a plethora of nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, micelles, olygomers/polymers or small molecules have been explored. The resulting materials are obtained by control on the pH, temperature, ionic strength of the media, as well as by the concentration, size, and charge of the co-crystallizing agent. Additionally, the selection of the protein shape plays a key role in the overall morphology of the materials.

In this contribution, spherical (apoferritin, aFt),[1] toroidal (peroxiredoxin, Prdx),[2] and elongated (tobacco mosaic virus, TMV)[3] proteins will be overviewed. These proteins share a negative overall charge that, in combination with cationic photosensitizers or light-emitting proteins[4], yields photoactive biohybrids. Their optical properties range from red-light emitters to photoinduced singlet oxygen generators with potential application in water remediation.

[1] J. Mikkilä, E. Anaya-Plaza, V. Liljeström, J. R. Caston, T. Torres, A. de la Escosura, M. A. Kostiainen, ACS Nano, 2016, 10, 1565–1571.

[2] E. Anaya-Plaza, Z. Özdemir, Z. Wimmer and M. A. Kostiainen, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2023, 11, 11544-11551.

[3] E. Anaya-Plaza, A. Aljarilla, G. Beaune, Nonappa, J. V. I. Timonen, A. Escosura, T. Torres, M. A. Kostiainen, Adv. Mater. 2019, 31, 1902582.

[4] M. Patrian, A. Shaukat, M. Nieddu, J. A. Banda-Vázquez, J. VI Timonen, J. P. Fuenzalida Werner, E. Anaya-Plaza, M. A Kostiainen, R. D Costa.


Short bio

Dr. Eduardo Anaya, PhD.
Research Council of Finland Fellow

I obtained my PhD in 2016 in Organic Chemistry at the Autonomous University of Madrid. After a postdoctoral period at University of Birmingham, I joined Aalto University as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in 2018. Since then, I have created the Photoactive Organic Materials group in 2021 upon securing an overall of 2 M€ in funding, including the prestigious Research Council of Finland Fellowship. Our research interests lie on the synthesis of organic dyes, ranging from development of more sustainable synthetic pathways to applications at the biointerphase like biobased materials and nanomedicine. I have been recently awarded with the Thieme Chemistry Journals award to Young researchers, and our research has been published in top tier journals such as Advanced Materials, Angewandte Chemie, Chemical Science, Nature Nanotechnology, or ACS Nano.