Symposium SM04—Understanding and Controlling the Structure and Function of Biomolecules at Material Interfaces
Interfaces are a key component of biological systems and biomaterials. In the last decades, a considerable amount of research has been focused on understanding and controlling interfaces of biomolecules, in particular proteins, peptides, amino acids and nucleic acids. In biological systems molecules often adopt specific structures at interfaces, which are required to achieve proper physiological functions, like molecular recognition, photosynthesis, catalysis and adhesion. On the other hand, interfaces may also induce misfolding and malfunction of biomolecules, as in the misfolding of amyloid peptides, which can trigger neurodegenerative diseases. Biomolecules are also critical for guiding nucleation and growth of mineralized tissues by recruiting inorganic ions and binding to specific sites and/or mineral faces to alter the kinetics of mineralization. Furthermore, biomolecularly functionalized surfaces have wide application in medical industry. The aim of this symposium is to provide a platform for interdisciplinary researchers from the biology, physics, chemistry and material science communities to share their approaches to characterize and control the structure, dynamics, and corresponding functions of biomolecules at interfaces, as well as their methods for functionalizing interfaces with biomolecules. The knowledge gained can be applied to a wide range of challenges in biomimetic materials science, from energy and environmental applications to biomedicine.