Supramolecular bacterial systems

S. Sankaran

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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For nearly over a decade, a wide variety of dynamic and responsive supramolecular architectures have been investigated and developed to address biological systems. Since the non-covalent interactions between individual molecular components in such architectures are similar to the interactions found in living systems, it was possible to integrate chemically-synthesized and naturally-occurring components to create platforms with interesting bioactive properties. Bacterial cells and recombinant proteins derived from them have been occasionally addressed and incorporated in such supramolecular biological systems, however a broader investigation into the various prospects of combining these two worlds has not yet been reported. This thesis represents an attempt to explore the possibilities of developing novel platforms by combining supramolecular chemistry with bacterial systems. The work described in this thesis has been organized in three sections – 1) using bacteria to produce recombinant proteins that can interact with supramolecular hosts and target proteins in a multivalent and multi-specific manner, 2) developing supramolecular platforms that display bioactive ligands in a photo-responsive manner or as gradients to address bacteria as pathogens and 3) genetically engineering bacterial cells with a supramolecular binding motif in an attempt to incorporate them as living entities in supramolecular architectures. These studies provide a glimpse into some of the versatile ways in which supramolecular chemistry and bacterial systems can be combined. The components and concepts investigated in these chapters can be used interchangeably and also extended towards other fields to develop innumerable other systems. Some of these possibilities have been addressed in the epilogue where preliminary results from three projects involving mammalian cells, viral protein cages and aggregation-induced emission compounds have been briefly described. The general outlook gathered from these explorations indicates that a ripe future lies ahead for such supramolecular bacterial systems where the possibilities are limited only by imagination.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Jonkheijm, P., Supervisor
Award date16 Dec 2015
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3996-8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2015


  • METIS-313621
  • IR-98470


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