Mechler - Bioinspired self-assembling nanostructures
Dr Adam Mechler
Associate Professor, College of Science, Health and Engineering
Self-assembly is nature's way of building complex structures from molecular building blocks.
Cell membranes, silk fibres and proteins are examples of this process where final structure is the product of a multitude of second order interactions – individually weak, non-covalent bonds between adjacent molecules, the collective effect of which is a strong, stable superstructure.
Adapting the self-assembly process to the design of complex nanomaterials from unnatural building blocks requires the study of the natural processes and establishing design rules. This will eventually lead to the development of a "molecular lego" toolbox where the chemical building blocks can be selected at will to create complex nanostructures.
We study the principles of self-assembly in lipid membranes, peptide fibrillogenezis and peptide-membrane interactions, and apply the design rules in the development of biomimetic membrane platforms, novel peptide antibiotics and peptide based metamaterials.