Seminar: “Autocatalytic Formation of Nanostructures by Self-Assembly driven Self-Replication,” Prof. Sijbren Otto (Stratingh Institute, University of Groningen), SA-240 Seminar Room, 11:40AM March 24 (EN)

UNAM Nanocolloquium Series
Dear Colleagues and Students,

You are cordially invited to UNAM Nanocolloquium seminars focusing on advancements in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The seminars bring us the most recent developments in these exciting fields.

The third talk of this spring term will be presented by Prof. Sijbren Otto*

Title: Autocatalytic Formation of Nanostructures by Self-Assembly driven Self-Replication
Date: March 24 (Friday)
Time: 11:40
Place: SA-240 Seminar Room

ABSTRACT – Nature is proof that self-assembly is a powerful tool for constructing materials of impressive complexity and function. Chemists have taken inspiration from Nature and many self-assembled materials have been developed. Most of these methods rely on thermodynamic control, resulting in formation of the most stable self-assembled product. However, self-assembly in Nature is in most cases controlled by kinetics rather than thermodynamics, giving much richer behavior in terms of function and dynamics of the biomaterials.1 We have recently developed a new approach to self-assembling materials that, like in Nature, relies on kinetics rather than thermodynamics.2-4 We use autocatalytic self-assembly processes, where the assembly drives the synthesis of the very molecules that self-assemble. By mixing relatively simple building blocks containing peptides or nucleobases that can form reversible covalent bonds with each other, we initially produce a complex mixture of many interconverting molecules. Self-assembly then shifts the product distribution to the self-assembling molecules, in many cases quantitatively. In this way, the self-assembling molecules self-replicate and the resulting materials can be considered to be self-synthesizing. As self-assembly occurs through a nucleation-growth mechanism the lengths of the assemblies can be controlled with unprecedentedly narrow polydispersities.4 I will also show how this approach can give rise to supramolecular block-copolymers, which have until now remained elusive.4 Thus, many of the powerful characteristics of traditional living polymerization are now becoming applicable also in supramolecular polymerization.

(1) E. Mattia, S. Otto, Supramolecular Systems Chemistry. Nat. Nanotechnol. 2015, 10, 111–119.
(2) J. M. A. Carnall, C. A. Waudby, A. M. Belenguer, M. C. A. Stuart, J. J.-P. Peyralans, S. Otto, Mechanosensitive Self-replication driven by Self-organization. Science 2010, 327, 1502 – 1506.
(3) J. W. Sadownik, E. Mattia, P. Nowak, S. Otto, Diversification of Self-Replicating Molecules. Nature Chem. 2016, 8, 264–269.
(4) A. Pal, M. Malakoutikhah, G. Leonetti, M. Tezcan, M. Colomb-Delsuc, V. D. Nguyen, J. van der Gucht, S. Otto. Controlling the Structure and Length of Self-Synthesizing Supramolecular Polymers through Nucleated Growth and Disassembly. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 7852–7856.

* Centre for Systems Chemistry, Stratingh Institute, University of Groningen
All interested are cordially invited!