Polymers, Colloids & Interfaces, Short talk

Developing Non-Native Cascade Reactions by Means of Catalytic Nanocompartments

V. Maffeis1,2, C. Schoenenberger1, C. Palivan1,2*
1Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Mattenstrasse 24a, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland, 2NCCR-Molecular Systems Engineering, Mattenstrasse 24a, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland

Compartmentalization is fundamental in nature, where the spatial segregation of biochemical reactions within and between cells ensures optimal conditions for the regulation of  cascade  reactions.  Reproducing, but also manipulating hierarchically organized compartments with regard to their responsiveness and communication provide crucial information towards understanding biological systems. One  of  the  most  promising  strategies  to  mimic  nature compartimentalization is to  combine synthetic nano-compartments with biomolecules in order to develop artificial organelles and to organize them into more complex architectures with cell mimetic functionality.

We present an exquisite spatiotemporal control of catalysis in polymeric nanosized compartments by means of a periodate sensitive linker that controls the opening of outer membrane protein OmpF (OmpF) channels inserted in the compartment membrane.[1] Being able to precisely time confined reactions pave the way to controlling multifunctional cluster activity when specific substrates or products need to be made available at a specific site and with precise timing.[2] In addition, the combinatorial and functional diversity of catalytic nanocompartments (CNCs) assembled into various supramolecular architectures can be exploited either in bulk or on a surface, whereby surface immobilization offers the advantage of highly controlled spatial organization. As an example, we developed CNC-functionalized DNA microarrays where individual reaction compartments are kept in close proximity by a distinct geometrical arrangement to promote effective communication.[3] Our work represents a significant advance in the field of communicative networks by combining compartmentalization with controlled inter-compartment distance to promote efficient cascade reactions.


[1]      L. Zartner, V. Maffeis, C.-A. Schoenenberger, I. A. Dinu, C. G. Palivan, J. Mater. Chem. B 2021, 9, 9012.
[2]      V. Maffeis, A. Belluati, I. Craciun, D. Wu, S. Novak, C.-A. Schoenenberger, C. G. Palivan, Chem. Sci. 2021, 12, 12274.
[3]      V. Maffeis, D. Hürlimann, A. Krywko-Cendrowska, C.-A. Schoenenberger, C. E. Housecroft, C. G. Palivan, Small 2022, 2202818.