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Optimizing self-assembly kinetics for biomolecules and complex nanostructures.

William Jacobs, Harvard University, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
10th Floor Weiser Hall Map
In a heterogeneous system, such as a large biomolecule or complex nanostructure, there is no guarantee that the lowest-free-energy state will form via self-assembly. Defects and mis-interactions among subunits often arise during a self-assembly reaction, particularly when these systems comprise many distinct components. As a result, if we wish to assemble complex nanostructures reliably, we need to design robust kinetic pathways to the target structures. I shall describe a theoretical approach for predicting self-assembly pathways in both engineered nanostructures and natural biomolecules. First, I shall discuss design principles that can be used to tune the nucleation and growth rates of colloidal nanostructures, with implications for achieving low-defect self-assembly and designing time-dependent experimental protocols. Then, turning to biological examples of kinetic optimization, I shall discuss how analogous principles have shaped the evolution of variable ribosome translation rates in order to optimize the folding of nascent proteins.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: Biology, Biophysics, Complex Systems, Physics, Research
Source: Happening @ Michigan from The Center for the Study of Complex Systems, Department of Physics, LSA Biophysics