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Lydia Kisley, Univ. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Proteins in nanoporous hydrogels: adsorption, diffusion, and folding

Date: Mon. February 19th, 2018, 4:30 pm-5:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221 (Les Foldy Room)

Proteins in nanoporous hydrogels: adsorption, diffusion, and folding

Lydia Kisley
Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:  Proteins within nanoporous hydrogels have important biotechnological applications in
pharmaceutical purification, tissue engineering, water treatment, biosensors, and medical
implants. Yet, oftentimes proteins that are functional in solution lose activity when in contact
with soft nanostructured materials due to perturbations in the folded state, conformation,
diffusion, and adsorption dynamics of the protein by the material. We have developed several
unique nanoscale fluorescent spectroscopies to image the heterogeneity of protein dynamics
within hydrogels. First, we resolve adsorption kinetics of proteins to charged ligands within
hydrogels used in pharmaceutical separations using location-based super resolution imaging to
demonstrate the importance of the spatial charge distribution of the ligands. Next, we show the
heterogeneity of the nanoscale pore size of the hydrogels can influence the diffusion of analytes
within the pores using an in situ correlation-based super resolution imaging technique. Finally,
we use fluorescence resonance energy transfer imaging combined with temperature jump
perturbations to show that noncovalent interactions of the protein with the polymer surface are
more important than confinement for determining the folding and stability of the protein within
hydrogels. Overall, in situ observations of proteins in hydrogels using fluorescent
spectroscopies can inform and inspire soft nanomaterial design to improve the performance,
shelf life, and cost of the next generation of biomaterials.

host: Michael Hinczewski

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