Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dyes and viruses create new composite material for photooxidation reactions

13.08.2019

A research team from Aalto University has developed a novel strategy to create virus-based materials for catalysis. The project, which is framed within the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions, aims to pave the way towards the application of optically active biohybrid materials - a combination of biomolecules and synthetic moieties - in topics ranging from nanomedicine to green organic synthesis or environmental sciences.

'Our first challenge was to select the right photosensitizer,' says Eduardo Anaya, Postdoctoral Researcher at Aalto University, 'We decided to employ phthalocyanines, a synthetic derivative of hematoporphyrin (the dye responsible for the colour of blood), due to their outstanding properties as a reactive oxygen species generator. However, the use of this kind of dyes in aqueous media presents several challenges that affect their performance. Therefore, careful design was necessary to maintain their properties`.


Schematic representation of the photoactive rod-like virus bundles glued together by action of the dye (top-right corner).

Credit: Eduardo Anaya

In collaboration with Professor Tomas Torres' research group from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, a new phthalocyanine derivative was synthesised, resulting in a molecule with resilient properties in different ionic strength media. The design ensured the photoactivity of the dye even in an aqueous environment.

'One of the focuses of our research group lies in the design of new protein assemblies and their potential application as new materials' adds Professor Mauri Kostiainen, leader of the Biohybrid Materials group.

'Our approach is based on supramolecular interactions, such as electrostatic binding so, in this project, we decided to combine the positively charged dye with a negatively charged tobacco mosaic virus (a 300 nm long rod-like virus), resulting in a photoactive fibrous material.

This approach led to highly ordered threads, which were thoroughly characterised by X-ray scattering and several microscopy techniques in the Nanomicroscopy Center at Aalto', Kostiainen says.

In addition to the structural characterisation, Anaya points out that the most crucial feature is that the dye remains active despite being immobilised in the fibres.

´We can fix the reaction site in solid support and pass the solution we want to react through it, being visible light the only "fuel" we use for it to happen. This allows us to create a continuous flow set-up that enable the scaling up of the oxidation process', he concludes.

The research team designed a proof-of-concept device where immobilising the fibres within a glass capillary; an incoming flow was oxidised in several cycles. The resilience of the fibres was assessed, concluding that both their structural stability and photoactivity remain constant over time.

One additional advantage is that, once the oxidation process is completed, a light pulse can disassemble the fibres, making them easy to dispose of. The reported approach represents the first step towards the use of biohybrids in continuous flow reactions, which represent an environmentally friendly approach to this type of industrial process.

###

The results were published in Advanced Materials, 08 August 2019.

Media Contact

Dr. Eduardo Anaya-Plaza
eduardo.anaya@aalto.fi
358-505-910-322

 @aaltouniversity

http://www.aalto.fi/en/ 

Dr. Eduardo Anaya-Plaza | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/adma.201902582
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.201902582

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Smart textiles made possible by flexible transmission lines
02.06.2020 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht A remote control for neurons
02.06.2020 | College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New measurement exacerbates old problem

Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem.

Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain...

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Perfect optics through light scattering

02.06.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

The digital construction site: A smarter way of building with mobile robots

02.06.2020 | Architecture and Construction

Process behind the organ-specific elimination of chromosomes in plants unveiled

02.06.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>