Home pagePress monitoringOpening a new chapter in antibody mimetics

Opening a new chapter in antibody mimetics

Date: 23.3.2020 

Antibodies are proteins that act as recognition molecules for pathogens, like viruses and bacteria, and are the workhorses of the body's immune system. They recognize specific molecules and bind to them very strongly, which makes them ideal for biomedical applications like diagnostics or therapeutic treatments.

Kredit: Ryan Spencer and Ron Zuckermann/Berkeley Lab.Unfortunately, production of antibodies is expensive, and they aren't very stable. This has motivated a growing number of chemists to explore new synthetic materials that can mimic key aspects of antibody structure and function.

Nonetheless, it remains a fundamental challenge to create chemically diverse populations of protein-like, folded synthetic nanostructures that can be tailored to specifically bind pathogens and other molecules.

In a recent study published in ACS Nano, a team of Foundry staff, working closely with users from UC San Francisco, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and New York University, have developed a new method to rapidly synthesize and screen libraries of two-dimensional peptoid nanostructures capable of selectively binding target proteins. Peptoids are bioinspired, sequence-defined molecules that act as building blocks for constructing protein-like structures.

"We can now readily build populations of synthetic materials that can be engineered to recognize a potential pathogen," said Ron Zuckermann, a Senior Scientist at the Foundry who led the study. "It is a shining example of biomimetic nanoscience: creating functional chemical architectures from folded, information-rich polymer chains."





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