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Synthesis of specific macromolecular ligands for protein binding, recognition and purification.

Department of Chemistry

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Dr L Twyman Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Proteins bind and recognise each other using large surface areas. Sensing and recognizing specific proteins is therefore important for a number of applications, including medicine, biology and chemistry. The aim of this project involves the synthesis of a variety of large molecules that can be modified for “specific” or “selective” protein binding. These include dendrimers and Graphene Oxide (GO). These molecules are large and contain functionality that can be modified using dynamic/reversible techniques. This approach allows a target protein to act as a template to control the functionalisation of the dendrimer/GO through guided self-assembly. In doing so, the target protein will generate its own optimised macromolecular ligand. Once synthesised, these molecules will be studied for use in a variety of applications, including target driven drug delivery and as inhibitors for protein-protein binding.


1. Chiba F & Twyman LJ; Effect of Terminal-Group Functionality on the Ability of Dendrimers to Bind Proteins. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2017, 28(8), 2046-2050.
2. Twyman LJ & Aziz A (2019) Synthesis of oligomeric and monomeric functionalized graphene oxides and a comparison of their abilities to perform as protein ligands and enzyme inhibitors. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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