Research groups

The Cluster of Excellence brings together 19 Strasbourg based research teams that work in the area of chemistry of complex systems. The cluster is a multidisciplinary network that makes it possible to cover a broad array of subjects in the field of complex systems chemistry, ranging from fundamental concepts to applied research.

 

Magnetic Resonance and Membrane Biophysics

Burkhard Bechinger

Burkhard Bechinger

The laboratory Membrane Biophysics and NMR studies complex chemical systems similar to those that occur in nature by physico-chemical approaches. By understanding the molecular interactions at an atomic, molecular and supramolecular level, macromolecular complexes are designed and tuned to exhibit new properties such as complexes for the transfection of nucleic acids or, to mention another example, lipid bilayer surfaces are used to regulate and tune polypeptide aggregation.

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TOP 5 publications :

  • Aisenbrey, C., Kemayo-Koumkoua, P., Salnikov, E.S., Glattard, E., and Bechinger, B. Investigations of the structure, topology and interactions of the transmembrane domain of the lipid sorting protein p24 being highly selective for sphingomyelin-C18. Biochemistry, (in press, 2019)
  • Harmouche, N. and Bechinger, B. Lipid-mediated interactions between the antimicrobial peptides magainin 2 and PGLa in bilayers. Biophysical Journal 115(6):1033-1044. (2018)
  • Itkin, A., Salnikov, E.S., Aisenbrey, C., Raya, J., Raussens, V., Ruysschaert, J.M., and Bechinger, B. Structural Characterization of the Amyloid Precursor Protein Transmembrane Domain and Its γ Cleavage Site. ACS Omega 2, 6525-6534 (2017)
  • Vermeer, L.S., Hamon, L., Schirer, A., Schoup, M., Cosette, J., Majdoul, S., Pastré, D., Stockholm, D., Holic, N., Hellwig, P., Galy, A., Fenard, D., and Bechinger, B. The Transduction Enhancing Peptide Vectofusin-1 forms pH-dependent α-Helical Coiled-coil Nanofibrils, Trapping Viral Particles. Acta Biomoaterialia 64, 259-268 (2017)
  • Salnikov, E. S., Aisenbrey, C., Aussenac, F., Ouari, O., Sarrouj, H., Reiter, C., Tordo, P., Engelke, F. and Bechinger, B. Solid-State NMR Membrane topologies of the PGLa antimicrobial peptide and a transmembrane anchor sequence by Dynamic Nuclear Polarization / solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Nature Scientific Reports 6:20895 (2016)

Organic Nanomaterials and Delivery

Alberto Bianco

The group led by Alberto Bianco develops a research program based on Nanobiotechnology. The different research axes are related to the design, the synthesis and the study of the biomedical applications of carbon-based nanomaterials (i.e. carbon nanotubes, graphene, adamantane). The group is also interested on other bi-dimensional materials like transition metal dichalcogenides and boron nitride. The group is exploring new chemical approaches for the multifunctionalization of carbon nanomaterials to impart multimodal capacities, such as targeting, imaging and enhance biodegradability, with improved therapeutic efficacy. The group is also developing the concept of safe-by-design. Some of the molecules and materials are able to self-assemble into nanoparticles.

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Top 5 publications :

  • Reina, G.; Ruiz, A.; Murera, D.; Nishina, Y.; Bianco, A. "Ultra-mixing": a Simple and Effective Method to Obtain Controlled and Stable Dispersions of Graphene Oxide in Cell Culture Media. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 2019, 11, 7695-7702.
  • Kurapati, R.; Mukherjee, S. P.; Martín C.; Bepete, G.; Vazquez, E.; Pénicaud, A.; Fadeel, B.; Bianco, A. Degradation of Single-Layer and Few-Layer Graphene by Neutrophil Myeloperoxidase Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2018, 57, 11722-11727.
  • Russier, J.; Léon, V.; Orecchioni, M.; Hirata, E.; Virdis, P.; Fozza, C.; Sgarrella, F.; Prato, M.; Vazquez, E.; Bianco, A.; Delogu, L. G. Targeted anticancer action of graphene on monocytic neoplastic cells from myelomonocytic leukemia patients. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2017, 56, 3014-3019.
  • Kurapati, R.; Muzi, L.; Perez Ruiz de Garibay, A.; Russier, J.; Voiry, D.; Vacchi, I. A.; Chhowalla, M.; Bianco, A. Enzymatic Biodegradability of Pristine and Functionalized Transition Metal Dichalcogenide MoS2 Nanosheets. Advanced Functional Materials, 2017, 1605176.
  • Vacchi, I. A.; Spinato, C.; Raya, J.; Bianco, A.; Ménard-Moyon, C. Chemical reactivity of graphene oxide towards amines elucidated by solid-state NMR. Nanoscale 2016, 8, 13714-13721.

Engineering of the Molecular Functions

Marco Cecchini

Marco Cecchini

Computational approaches based on all-atom molecular dynamics provide the unique opportunity to monitor the time evolution of molecules with atomic resolution. The statistical analysis of these unique single-molecules “experiments” ultimately opens up to a quantitative understanding of molecular function. The group explores the principles of chemical design from small organic compounds to complex nanomachines by theoretical and computational approaches. The research interests span the domains of life science and material science.

 

 

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Top 5 publications :

  • Cerdan, A. H.; Martin, N. E.; Cecchini, M., An Ion-Permeable State of the Glycine Receptor Captured by Molecular Dynamics. Structure 2018, 26 (11), 1555-1562.
  • Blanc, F.; Isabet, T.; Benisty, H.; Sweeney, H. L.; Cecchini, M.; Houdusse, A., An intermediate along the recovery stroke of myosin VI revealed by X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2018, 115 (24), 6213-6218.
  • Conti, S.; Cecchini, M., Predicting molecular self-assembly at surfaces: a statistical thermodynamics and modeling approach. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP 2016, 18 (46), 31480-31493.
  • Cecchini, M.; Changeux, J. P., The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and its prokaryotic homologues: Structure, conformational transitions & allosteric modulation. Neuropharmacology 2015, 96 (Pt B), 137-49.
  • Calimet, N.; Simoes, M.; Changeux, J. P.; Karplus, M.; Taly, A.; Cecchini, M., A gating mechanism of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2013, 110 (42), E3987-96.



Supramolecular and Biomaterial Chemistry

Luisa De Cola

Luisa De ColaDe Cola's group research focuses on the creation of materials made either by self-assembly of small molecules or by porous silica.
The final aim is to obtain systems that can be used as electroluminescent film, or for biomedical imaging and theranostics. The luminescent small molecules are metal complexes which can be employed as dopant for organic light emitting diodes or as probe in electrochemiluminescent diagnostics devices.
The mesoporous silica is made as small particles (30-60 nm), amorphous and crystalline, and can be decorated internally and on the surface with biomolecules or labels. In vitro and in vivo imaging is under studying to show the possible use of these containers to deliver drugs and to act as imaging agent. In this respect, the group is particularly interested in materials that can degrade or excreted by the animal body.

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Top 5 publications :

  • S. Sinn, I. Yang, F. Biedermann, D. Wang, C. Kübel, J. Cornelissen, L. De Cola. Templated formation of luminescent virus-like particles by tailor-made Pt(II)-amphiphiles. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 2355-2362.
  • S. Carrara, A. Aliprandi, C. F. Hogan, L. De Cola. Aggregation-induced electrochemiluminescence of platinum (II) complexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 14605-14610.
  • A. Aliprandi, C. M. Croisetu, M. Mauro, L. De Cola. Chiral amplification by self-assembly of neutral luminescent platinum(II) complexes. Chem. Eu. J., 2017, 23, 5957 – 5961.
  • A. Aliprandi, M. Mauro, L. De Cola. Controlling and imaging biomimetic self-assembly. Nat. Chem., 2016, 8, 10-15 (cover of the issue).
  • E.A. Prasetyanto, A. Bertucci, D. Septiadi, R. Corradini, P. Castro-Hartmann, L. De Cola. Breakable hybrid organo-silica nanocapsules for protein delivery. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2016, 55, 3323-3327 (internal cover).

Complex systems in synthesis and catalysis

Pawel Dydio

Luisa De ColaThe main research of the laboratory is centered around the construction of complex networks of organic reactions occurring within self-regulating multicatalytic systems, inspired by the metabolic networks of enzymatic reactions. We undertake the self-standing projects of developing various tools and approaches toward that goal, including (i) connecting multiple catalytic reactions into coherent

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Top publications :

  • Lichosyt, D.; Zhang, Y.; Hurej, K.; Dydio, P. Nature Catalysis, 2019, 2, 114: Dual-Catalytic Transition Metal Systems for Functionalization of Unreactive Sites of Molecules.
  • Highlighted on the front cover of Nature Catalysis:
    Lichosyt, D.; Wasiłek, S.; Dydio, P.; Jurczak, J. Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 11683: The influence of binding site geometry on anion binding selectivity: a case study of macrocyclic receptors built on an azulene skeleton.
  • Zhang, Y.; Dydio, P. (submitted): Catalytic hydroformylation of alkenes under mild conditions.

Supramolecular Chemistry and Self-Assemblies

Nicolas Giuseppone

Nicolas GiusepponeThe development of responsive, adaptive, and multitasking chemical systems is recognized as being of crucial importance to design the next generation of the so-called “smart” functional materials. One may expect that such advanced artificial systems should combine several features which are present in – and thus inspired by – living systems. In particular, these new materials should ultimately combine three key properties which are: i) the ability to be constructed in situ and “when needed” from the available sources, ii) the capacity to produce several tunable responses depending on environmental conditions, and iii) the possibility to amplify these responses by self-replication processes. The group attempts to demonstrate the possibility of designing artificial materials inspired by these concepts and which can be defined as autonomous, i.e. self-constructing material.

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TOP 5 publications :

  • Moulin, E., Armao, J. J., Giuseppone, N. Triarylamine-based Supramolecular Polymers: Structures, Dynamics, and Functions. Acc. Chem. Res. 2019, 52, 975-983.
  • Foy, J. T., Li, Q., Goujon, A., Colard-Itté, J.-R., Fuks, G., Moulin, E., Schiffmann, O., Dattler, D., Funeriu, D. P., Giuseppone, N. Dual-light Control of Nanomachines that Integrate Motor and Modulator Subunits. Nature Nanotech. 2017, 12, 540-545.
  • Li, Q., Fuks, G., Moulin, E., Maaloum, M., Rawiso, M., Kulic, I., Foy, J., Giuseppone, N. Macroscopic Contraction of a Gel Induced by the Integrated Motion of Light-driven Molecular Motors. Nature Nanotech. 2015, 10, 161-165.
  • Du, G., Moulin, E., Buhler, E., Giuseppone, N. Muscle-like Supramolecular Polymers: Integrated Motions from Thousands of Molecular Machines. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 12504-12508.
  • Faramarzi, V., Niess, F., Moulin, E., Maaloum, M., Dayen, J.-F., Beaufrand, J.-B., Zanettini, S., Doudin, B., Giuseppone, N. Light-triggered Self-construction of Supramolecular Organic Nanowires as Metallic Interconnects. Nature Chem. 2012, 4, 485-490.

Vibrationnal Spectroscopy and electrochemistry of biomolecules

Petra Hellwig

Petra HellwigThe research of the group focuses on those chemical processes that are responsible for the energy supply of living cells. They are interested in understanding the efficiently coupled electron and proton transfer in membrane proteins from the respiratory chain. They apply and develop infrared and Raman spectroscopic, photochemical and electrochemical techniques, in order to understand these processes.

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Top 5 publications:

  • El Khoury, Y. ; Collongues, N. ; De Sèze, J. ; Gulsari, J.V. ; Patte-Mensah, C. ; Marcou, G. ; Varneck, A. ; Mensah-Nyagan, A.G. ; Hellwig P. Serum-based differentiation between Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis by Random Forest classification of FTIR spectra (2019) Analyst, in press DOI10.1039/C9AN00754G
  • Grytsyk, N.; Santos Seiça, A.F.; Sugihara, J.; Kaback, H.R.; Hellwig, P. 'Arg302 governs the pKa of Glu325 in LacY' (2019), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.,116, 4934-4939.
  • Cote, Y.; Nominé, Y.; Ramirez, J.; Hellwig, P.; Stote, R. H. 'Peptide-Protein binding investigated by Far-IR spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics simulations' (2017) Biophys. J., 112, 2575-2588.
  • Schirer, A.; El Khoury, Y.; Faller, P.; Hellwig, P. 'Similarities and differences of copper and zinc cations binding to biologically relevant peptides studied by vibrational spectroscopies' (2017) J. Biol Inorg Chem., 22, 581-589.
  • Fournier, E.; Nikolaev, A.; Nasiri, H.; Hoeser, J.; Friedrich, T.; Hellwig, P.; Melin, F. 'Creation of a gold nanoparticle based electrochemical assay for the detection of inhibitors of bacterial cytochrome bd oxidases' (2016) Bioelectrochemistry, 111, 109-114.

Non-equilibrium Complex Systems

Thomas Hermans

Thomas Hermans

The group is studying dissipative self-assembling systems that are out of thermodynamic equilibrium, to obtain adaptive / dynamic materials that are “alive”. One of the hallmarks of complex systems is large scale "emergent" behavior (e.g., ordered patterns on length scales far beyond the size of the individual molecules forming the pattern), and this can only be achieved under non-equilibrium conditions. Understanding dissipative non-equilibrium is therefore one of the most important challenges at the interface between chemistry, biology, and physics. The group believes this is the way to get materials with a level of sophistication approaching that of living beings.

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Top 5 publications:

  • V.Marichez, A.Tassoni, R.P.Cameron, S.M.Barnett, R.Eichhorn, C.Genet, T.M. Hermans, Mechanical chiral resolution, Soft Matter, 2019
  • P.Dunne, T.Adachi, A.Sorrenti, J.M.D.Coey, B.Doudin, T.M.Hermans, Liquid flow and control without solid walls, ChemRxiv, 2018
  • J.Leira-Iglesias, A.Tassoni, T.Adachi, M.Stich, T.M.Hermans, Oscillations, traveling fronts and patterns in a supramolecular system, Nature Nanotechnology 2018, 13, 1021–1027
  • A.Sorrenti, J.Leira-Iglesias, A.Sato, T.M.Hermans, Nature Communications 2017, 8:15899, Non-equilibrium steady-states in supramolecular polymerization.
  • T.M.Hermans, K.J.M.Bishop, P.S.Stewart, S.H.Davis, B.A.Grzybowski, Nature Communications, 2015, 6, 5640, Vortex flows impart chirality-specific lift forces

Molecular Tectonics

Mir Wais Hosseini

Mir Wais Hosseini

The Molecular Tectonics laboratory is concerned by organization of matter in the crystalline phase. The conducted research deals with the design and generation of periodic complex architectures. These molecular assemblies of macroscopic size are obtained by self-assembly processes between programmed tectons bearing within their structure recognition and iteration codes. This approach not only allows the fabrication of designed crystals but also permits the preparation of crystals by a hierarchic strategy.

 

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Top 5 publications :

  • E. R. ENGEL, A. JOUAITI, C. X. BEZUIDENHOUT, M. W. HOSSEINI, L. J. BARBOUR, "Exceptional selectivity, hysteresis and activation-dependent breathing adsorption of a Zn metal-organic framework", Angewandte Chemie, 2017, 56, 8874-8878.
  • M. EL GARAH, N. MMARETS, S. BONACCHI, M. MAURO, A. CIESIELSLKI, V. BULACH, M. W. HOSSEINI, P. SAMORI, "Nanopatterning of surfaces with mono- and hetero bi-metallic 1D coordination polymers: a molecular tectonics approach at the solid/liquid interface", J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 8450 – 8459.
  • C. XU, A. GUENET, N. KYRITSAKAS, J.-M. PLANEIX, M. W. HOSSEINI, "Molecular tectonics: heterometallic (Ir,Cu) grid-type coordination networks based on cyclometallated Ir(III) chiral metallatectons", Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 14785 - 14788.
  • C. ADOLF, S. FERLAY M. W. HOSSEINI, "Welding molecular crystals", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 15390−15393.
  • N. ZIGON, P. LARPENT, A. JOUAITI, N. KYRITSAKAS, M. W. HOSSEINI, "Optical reading of the open and closed states of a molecular turnstile", Chem. Commun, 2014, 50, 5040-5042.

Catalysis in chemical synthesis

Amir Hoveyda

Jean-Maire LehnThe group is engaged in research that is focused on stereochemically defined organic molecules, small as well as macromolecules, which do or might play a crucial role in drug development and advances in human medicine. They are especially keen on introducing catalytic, efficient, selective, broadly applicable, practical (scalable) methods that provide access to such entities, and that are sustainable and cost effective (for example, no precious metals). Despite notable recent advances, existing methods for the preparation of important bioactive compounds often do not satisfy many of the above criteria, and their principal goal is to design catalysts, strategies, and methods that address the above issues in a practical and realistic way.

 

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Top 5 publications:

  • Zhang, S. ; del Pozo, J. ; Romiti, F. ; Mu, Y. ; Torker, S. ; Hoveyda, A. H. “Delayed Catalyst Function Enables Direct Enantioselective Conversion of Nitriles to NH2-Amines,” Science 2019, 364, 45–51.
  • Lee, J.; Radomkit, S.; Torker, S.; del Pozo, J.; Hoveyda, A. H. “Mechanism-based Enhancement of Scope and Enantioselectivity for Reactions Involving a Copper-Substituted Stereogenic Carbon Centre,” Nat. Chem. 2018, 10, 99–108.
  • Nguyen, T. T.; Koh, M. J.; Shen, X.; Romiti, F.; Schrock, R. R.; Hoveyda, A. H. Kinetically Controlled E-Selective Catalytic Olefin Metathesis. Science 2016, 352, 569–575.
  • Meng, F.; McGrath, K. P.; Hoveyda, A. H. Multifunctional Organoboron Compounds for Scalable Natural Product Synthesis. Nature 2014, 513, 367–374
  • Silverio, D. L.; Torker, S.; Pilyugina, T.; Vieira, E. V.; Snapper, M. L.; Haeffner, F.; Hoveyda, A. H. Simple Organic Molecules as Catalysts for Enantioselective Synthesis of Amines and Alcohols. Nature 2013, 494, 216–221.

Nanochemistry and Bioimaging

Andrey Klymchenko

Jean-Maire Lehn

Fluorescent molecular probes. The group  works on new functional molecules that enable imaging structure and function of living cells at the molecular level. They exploit different design concepts to achieve an optical response of probes to biological targets: (1) solvatochromism, using push-pull dyes sensitive to environment polarity; (2) intramolecular rotation (molecular rotors), sensitive to viscosity; (3) assembly-disassembly of dimers or multimers in response to the target. Based on these concepts we develop probes for: (1) imaging and sensing of lipid biomembranes and droplets, allowing detection of apoptosis, lipid rafts, cellular stress, etc; (2) detection of ligand-receptor interactions; (3) detection of RNA with new fluorogenic dyes recognizing target RNA aptamers.

Ultrabright self-assembled fluorescent organic nanoparticles for biosensing and bioimaging. Here, they work on assembly of specially designed polymers/lipids into very small biocompatible nanoparticles (5-50 nm). They conceptualize bulky hydrophobic counterions for controlled packing and efficient emission of organic ionic dyes inside these nanoparticles. The counterion approach also ensures strong dye coupling, allowing us to develop light-harvesting nanoantennas. The latter enable unprecedented optical amplification (100-1000-fold) and serve as a basis for designing probes: (1) nanoparticle-DNA conjugates for amplified RNA detection; (2) for specific detection/imaging of proteins at the single molecule level and (3) sensors for small molecules, like O2, NO, etc. The ultimate goal is superior control of assembly of molecules into defined nanostructures with amplified optical response to biological stimuli, which enable preparation of nano-devices for imaging, biosensing and medical diagnostics.



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Top 5 publications:

  • Melnychuk, N.; Klymchenko, A.S. DNA-Functionalized Dye-Loaded Polymeric Nanoparticles: Ultrabright FRET Platform for Amplified Detection of Nucleic Acids, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 10856.
  • Collot M., Fam T.K., Ashokkumar P., Faklaris O., Galli T., Danglot L., Klymchenko A.S. Ultrabright and Fluorogenic Probes for Multicolor Imaging and Tracking of Lipid Droplets in Cells and Tissues. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 5401.
  • Trofymchuk, K.; Reisch, A.; Didier, P.; Fras, F.; Gilliot, P.; Mely, Y.; Klymchenko, A. S. Giant light-harvesting nanoantenna for single-molecule detection in ambient light. Nature Photonics 2017, 11, 657.
  • Klymchenko, A. S. Solvatochromic and Fluorogenic Dyes as Environment-Sensitive Probes: Design and Biological Applications, Acc. Chem Res. 2017, 50, 366.
  • Reisch, A.; Didier, P.; Richert, L.; Oncul, S.; Arntz, Y.; Mély, Y.; Klymchenko, A. S. Collective fluorescence switching of counterion-assembled dyes in polymer nanoparticles. Nature Commun. 2014, 5, 4089.

Supramolecular Chemistry

Jean-Marie Lehn (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1987)

Jean-Maire Lehn

Constitutional Dynamic Chemistry (CDC) is based on the implementation of reversible covalent or non-covalent connections to allow a continuous change in constitution of a chemical entity by reorganization and exchange of building blocks on both the molecular and supramolecular levels. It takes advantage of dynamic diversity to allow for variation and selection and achieve adaptation. CDC generates networks of interconverting constituents, constitutional dynamic networks, able to respond to perturbations by physical stimuli or to chemical effectors. It leads to adaptive and evolutive chemistry, towards systems of increasing complexity and a science of complex matter.


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Top 5 publications:

  • J.-M.Lehn, Perspectives in chemistry – Aspects of adaptive chemistry and materials. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 54, 3276-3289, 2015.
  • P. Kovaricek, A.C. Meister, K. Flidrova, R. Cabot, K. Kovarickova, J.-M. Lehn. Competition-driven selection in covalent dynamic networks and implementation in organic reactional selectivity. Chem. Sci., 7, 3215-3226, 2016.
  • J. Holub, G. Vantomme, J.-M. Lehn. Training a constitutional dynamic network for effector recognition : storage, recall, and erasing of information. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 11783-11791, 2016.
  • G. Men, J.-M. Lehn. Higher order constitutional dynamic networks: [2x3] and [3x3] networks displaying multiple, synergistic and competitive hierarchical adaptation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 2474-2483, 2017.
  • J.-F. Ayme, J.-M. Lehn. From coordination chemistry to adaptive chemistry. Adv. Inorg. Chem., 71, 3-69, 2018.



Precision Macromolecular Chemistry

Jean-François Lutz

Jean-François Lutz

An important objective of the group led by Jean-François Lutz at the Institut Charles Sadron is the synthesis of non-natural polymers containing regular sequences of monomers. Indeed, as learned from nature, primary structure control is a crucial aspect for attaining highly complex materials. This parameter is finely controlled in some biopolymers such as DNA or proteins but generally not in synthetic macromolecules. Within the frame of the Cluster Chemistry of Complex Systems, the group is aiming to develop complex molecular codes on linear polymer chains.

 

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Top 5 publications:

  • A. Al Ouahabi, J.-A. Amalian, L. Charles, J.-F. Lutz, Nature Communications, 8:967 (2017)
  • J.-F. Lutz, J.-M. Lehn, E. W. Meijer, K. Matyjaszewski, From Precision Polymers to Complex Materials and Systems, Nature Reviews Materials, 1, 16024, 2016
  • R. K. Roy, A. Meszynska, C. Laure, L. Charles, C. Verchin, J.-F. Lutz, Design and synthesis of digitally-encoded polymers that can be decoded and erased, Nature Communications, 6:7237, 2015
  • H. M. Colquhoun, J.-F. Lutz, Information-containing Macromolecules, Nature Chemistry, 6, 455-456, 2014
  • J.-F. Lutz, M. Ouchi, D. R. Liu, M. Sawamoto, Sequence-controlled Polymers, Science, 341, 1238149, 2013

Chemical Catalysis

Joseph Moran

Joseph Moran

This research group is applying principles of systems chemistry and supramolecular chemistry to solve problems in catalysis, both for organic synthesis and to understand the chemical origins of life. Specific topics include the the use of complex mixtures to discover new catalytic reaction systems, the development and study of new synthetic reactions that exploit aggregation in Brønsted acid catalysis, and the identification of non-enzymatic versions of core biological anabolic pathways in order to understand the origin of metabolism.

 

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Top 5 publications:

  • Muchowska, K. B.; Varma, S. J.; Moran, J. Synthesis and breakdown of universal metabolic precursors promoted by iron. Nature 2019, 569, 104.
  • Thomas, A.; Lethuillier-Karl, L.; Nagarajan, K.; Vergauwe, R. M. A.; George, J.; Chervy, T.; Shalabney, A.; Devaux, E.; Genet, C.; Moran, J.; Ebbesen, T. W. Tilting a Ground State Reactivity Landscape by Vibrational Strong Coupling. Science 2019, 363, 615-619.
  • Varma, S. J.; Muchowska, K. B.; Chatelain, P.; Moran, J. Native iron reduces CO2 to intermediates and end-products of the acetyl CoA pathway. Nature Ecol. Evol. 2018, 2, 1019-1024
  • Muchowska, K. B.; Varma, S. J.; Chevallot-Beroux, E.; Lethuillier-Karl, L.; Li, G.; Moran, J. Metals promote sequences of the reverse Krebs cycle. Nature Ecol. Evol. 2017, 1, 1716-1721
  • Vuković, V. D.; Richmond, E.; Wolf, E.; Moran, J. Catalytic Friedel-Crafts Reactions of Highly Electronically Deactivated Benzylic Alcohols. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 3085-3089

Chemistry of molecular materials

Jean-François Nierengarten

Joseph Moran

The team is recognized for its contributions in the field of fullerene chemistry, transition metal chemistry and supramolecular chemistry. The research is highly synthesis-driven and is concerned with a large variety of research topics ranging from the development of molecular materials and bioactive compounds to the construction of supramolecular ensembles with original electronic properties. More recently, the team has started a new research program in the field of pillar[5]arene chemistry.

 

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Top 5 publications:

  • Muñoz, D. Sigwalt, B. M. Illescas, J. Luczkowiak, L. Rodríguez, I. Nierengarten, M. Holler, J.-S. Remy, K. Buffet, S. P. Vincent, J. Rojo, R. Delgado, J.-F. Nierengarten, N. Martín. Synthesis of giant globular multivalent glycofullerenes as potent inhibitors in a model of Ebola virus infection. Nature Chem. 2016, 8, 50-57.
  • T. M. N. Trinh, I. Nierengarten, H. Ben Aziza, E. Meichsner, M. Holler, M. Chessé, R. Abidi, C. Bijani, Y. Coppel, E. Maisonhaute, B. Delavaux-Nicot, J.-F. Nierengarten. Coordination-driven folding in multi-Zn(II)porphyrin arrays constructed on a pillar[5]arene scaffold. Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 11011-11021.
  • M. Steffenhagen, A. Latus, T. M. N. Trinh, I. Nierengarten, I. T. Lucas, S. Joiret, J. Landoulsi, B. Delavaux-Nicot, J.-F. Nierengarten, E. Maisonhaute. A rotaxane scaffold bearing multiple redox centers: synthesis, surface modification and electrochemical properties. Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 1701-1708.
  • U. Hahn, E. Maisonhaute, J.-F. Nierengarten. Twisted N-doped nano-graphenes: synthesis, characterization and resolution. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 10635-10639.
  • M. Mohankumar, M. Holler, E. Meichsner, J.-F. Nierengarten, F. Niess, J.-P. Sauvage, B. Delavaux-Nicot, E. Leoni, F. Monti, J. M. Malicka, M. Cocchi, E. Bandini, N. Armaroli. Heteroleptic copper(I) pseudorotaxanes incorporating macrocyclic phenanthroline ligands of different sizes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 2336-2347.

Quantitative Chemistry

Vincent Robert

Vincent Robert

The research activity conducted in the Laboratory of Quantitative Chemistry of Strasbourg aims at describing the electronic properties of molecular architectures and materials based on theoretical approaches and developments. The complexity stems from inter- and intramolecular interactions dictated by electronic correlation, weak bonds and charge transfers. The inspection of such phenomena allows one to rationalize puzzling behaviors such as molecular magnetism, spin crossover, spintronics and molecular recognition.

 

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Top 5 publications:

  • Godde, B.; Jouaiti, A.; Mauro, M.; Marquardt, R.; Chaumont, A.; Robert, V. Motion of an Azobenzene Light-Controlled Switch: A Joint Theoretical and Experimental Approach. ChemSystChem 2019,
  • Gourlaouen, C.; Vela, S.; Choua, S. ; Berville, M.; Wytko, J. A.; Weiss, J.; Robert, V. Pairing-up Viologen Cations and Dications: a Microscopic Investigation of van der Waals Interactions. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2018, 20, 27878-27884
  • Martinez, A. ; Yang, J. ; Châtelet, B.; Hérault, D.; Dutasta, J.; Dufaud, V. ; Michaud-Chevallier, S.; Robert, V. Endohedral Functionalized Cage as a Tool to Create Frustrated Lewis Pairs. Angew. Chem. 2018, 57, 14212-14215
  • Vela, S.; Vérot, M.; Fromager, E.; Robert, V. Electron Transport Through a Spin Crossover Junction. Perspectives from a Wavefunction-Based Approach. J. Chem. Phys. 2017, 146, 064112
  • Groizard, T.; Papior, N.; Le Guennic, B.; Robert, V.; Kepenekian, M. Enhanced Cooperativity in supported Spin-Crossover Metal-Organic Frameworks Phys. Chem. Lett. 2017, 8, 3415-3420

Nanochemistry

Paolo Samori

Paolo Samori

The main focus of the research activities in the Nanochemistry Laboratory is the development of unconventional methodologies, beyond the state-of-the-art, to offer new solutions for ever more complex nanoscale multifunctional organic-based logic applications. The group aims at mastering the principles of supramolecular chemistry (bottom-up), in combination with nanofabrication (top-down), to achieve a full control over the architecture vs. function relationship in organic or graphene based supramolecularly engineered nanostructured materials and devices that can express multiple yet independent complex functions.

 

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Top 5 publications :

  • T. Leydecker, M. Herder, E. Pavlica, G. Bratina, S. Hecht, E. Orgiu, P. Samori, "Flexible non-volatile optical memory thin-film transistor devis with over  256 distinct levels based on an organic bicomponent blend", Nat. Nanotechnol. 2016, 11, 769
  • L. Zhang, X. Zhong, E. pavlica, S. Li, A. Klekachev, G. Bratina, T.W. Ebbesen, E. Orgiu, P. Samori, "A nanomesh scaffold for supramolecular nanowire optoelectronic devices", Nat. Nanotechnol 2016, 11, 900
  • M. Gobbi, S. Bonacchi; J. X. Lian, A. Vercouter, S. Bertolazzi, B. Zyska, M. Timpel, R. Tatti, Y. Olivier, S. Hecht, M. V Nardi, D. Beljonne, E. Orgiu, P. Samori, "Collective molecularswitching in hybrid superlattices for light-modulated two-dimensional electronics", Nat. Commun, 2018, 9, 2661
  • C.-B. Huang, S. Witomska, A. Aliprandi, M.-A. Stoeckel, M. Bonini, A. Ciesielski, P. Samorì, “Molecule–Graphene Hybrid Materials with Tunable Mechanoresponse: Highly Sensitive Pressure Sensors for Health Monitoring”, Adv. Mater. 2019, 31, 1804600.
  • L. Hou, X. Zhang, G. F. Cotella, G. Carnicella, M. Herder, B. M. Schmidt, M. Pätzel, S. Hecht, F. Cacialli, P. Samorì, “Optically switchable organic light-emitting transistors”, Nat. Nanotechnol. 2019, 14, 347.

Organo-Mineral chemistry

Jean-Pierre Sauvage (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016)

 The group is mostly interested in transition metal-incorporating electrochemically- or photochemically driven molecular machines consisting of interlocking compounds. In the framework of the Cluster of Excellence, the group is synthetizing novel muscle-like molecules, able to shrink or elongate under the action of a given signal. The new approach the team is working on takes advantage of the ability of figure-of-eight compounds to be contracted along a vertical axis while they are stretched out along a horizontally oriented axis.

 

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Top 5 publications

  • F. Niess, V. Duplan, J.-P. Sauvage "Interconversion between a Vertically Oriented Transition Metal-Complexed Figure-of-Eight and a Horizontally Disposed One", J. Am. Chem. Soc.136, 5876 (2014)
  • R. S. Forgan, J.-P. Sauvage, J. F. Stoddart, "Chemical Topology : Complex Molecular Knots, Links and Entanglements", Chem. Rev., 111, 5434 (2011).
  • J.-P. Collin, F. Durola, J. Frey, V. Heitz, F. Reviriego, J.-P. Sauvage, Y. Trolez and K. Rissanen, "Templated Synthesis of Cyclic [4]Rotaxanes Consisting of Two Stiff Rods Threaded through Two Bis-macrocycles with a Large and Rigid Central Plate as Spacer", J. Am. Chem. Soc.132, 6840 (2010).
  • J.-P. Collin, F. Durola, J. Lux, J.-P. Sauvage, "A Rapidly Shuttling Copper-Complexed [2]Rotaxane with Three Different Chelating Groups in Its Axis", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 48, 8532 (2009).
  • J.-P. Collin, J. Frey, V. Heitz, J.-P. Sauvage, C. Tock, L. Allouche, "Adjustable Receptor Based on a [3]Rotaxane Whose Two Threaded Rings Are Rigidly Attached to Two Porphyrinic Plates : Synthesis and Complexation Studies", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 5609 (2009).

Chimie des protéines

Vladimir Torbeev

The research group specializes in chemical biology with particular emphasis on synthetic biology, defined here as chemical synthesis of biopolymers, primarily proteins, with functions that substitute or complement those already existing in biological systems. In the next years the group intends to reach the following three main objectives: (i) to develop methodology for high-throughput combinatorial chemical protein synthesis; (ii) to better understand the molecular basis of protein misfolding into amyloids and to develop new diagnostic tools and inhibitors against Alzheimer’s disease; (iii) to elaborate new chemical approaches for studying intrinsically disordered proteins.

 

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Top 5 publications:

 

  • A. Baral, A. Asokan, V. Bauer, B. Kieffer, V. Torbeev, Chemical synthesis of transactivation domain (TAD) of tumor suppressor protein p53 by native chemical ligation of three peptide segments. Tetrahedron 2019, 75, 703 - 708.
  • R. Boehringer, B. Kieffer, V. Torbeev, Total chemical synthesis and biophysical properties of a designed soluble 24 kDa amyloid analogue. Chem. Sci. 2018, 9, 5594-5599.
  • B. Schmidtgall, O. Chaloin, V. Bauer, M. Sumyk, C. Birck, V. Torbeev, Dissecting mechanism of coupled folding and binding of an intrinsically disordered protein by chemical synthesis of conformationally constrained analogues. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 7369-7372.
  • J. Ruiz, R. Boehringer, M. Grogg, J. Raya, A. Schirer, C. Crucifix, P. Hellwig, P. Schultz, V. Torbeev, Covalent tethering and residues with bulky hydrophobic side chains enable to direct self‐assembly of distinct amyloid structures. ChemBioChem 2016, 17, 2274-2285.
  • R. M. Vergauwe, J. George, T. Chervy, J. A. Hutchison, A. Shalabney, V. Torbeev, T. W. Ebbesen, “Quantum strong coupling with protein vibrational modes”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2016, 7, 4159-4164.