Systems Chemistry: Steps towards Life-like Systems
Dr. Charalampos Pappas
Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies (FIT), University of Freiburg

April 29, 2021, 9 a.m.

Living systems possess overwhelming molecular complexity that largely results from combinations of just twenty amino acids that are found across all life forms. It is increasingly clear that structure and functionality may be observed in much simpler combinations of amino acids in short peptides. Thus, beyond their role as the molecular building blocks of life, amino acids may be ideally suited as building blocks for adaptive nanotechnology. Inspired by living systems, where molecular assemblies perform tasks that exceed the functionality of their basic constituents, systems chemistry focusses on connectedness, interactivity and patterns. The use of mixtures of interacting molecules that continuously exchange chemical information, leads to emergent properties, properties that only originate when parts assemble together. This network concept contrasts with the more traditional reductionist approach and has empowered soft matter systems with the abilities to replicate to compartmentalize and to adapt in response to chemical and physical signals from the environment. Herein, we demonstrate the use of a systems chemistry pathway towards the discovery of adaptive and active materials based on the building blocks of life.



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Systems Chemistry: Steps towards Life-like Systems
Dr. Charalampos Pappas
Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies (FIT), University of Freiburg

April 29, 2021, 9 a.m.

Living systems possess overwhelming molecular complexity that largely results from combinations of just twenty amino acids that are found across all life forms. It is increasingly clear that structure and functionality may be observed in much simpler combinations of amino acids in short peptides. Thus, beyond their role as the molecular building blocks of life, amino acids may be ideally suited as building blocks for adaptive nanotechnology. Inspired by living systems, where molecular assemblies perform tasks that exceed the functionality of their basic constituents, systems chemistry focusses on connectedness, interactivity and patterns. The use of mixtures of interacting molecules that continuously exchange chemical information, leads to emergent properties, properties that only originate when parts assemble together. This network concept contrasts with the more traditional reductionist approach and has empowered soft matter systems with the abilities to replicate to compartmentalize and to adapt in response to chemical and physical signals from the environment. Herein, we demonstrate the use of a systems chemistry pathway towards the discovery of adaptive and active materials based on the building blocks of life.



Share