Discovering peptide nanostructures for food, pharma and functional materials


Not all materials are suitable for use in living organisms and this challenge has led to a tremendous interest in biocompatible and biodegradable peptides from the field of biomedicine, food and nanotechnology. A large variety of peptide-based biomaterials can be formed from the enormous structural diversity that is available from the 20 gene-encoded amino acids. Certain peptides can self-assemble into nanostructures and as such provide interesting materials with novel properties. However, the problem we face is that it is currently not possible to predict supramolecular behaviour from peptide sequence alone. With this proposal I aim to set up a computational framework to discover new instances of such materials. This will be done in close collaboration with experimental partners and one or more interested industrial parties to characterise the new peptides and place the potential commercially interesting output on the market.

In order to combat this quandary I will develop a high-throughput pipeline to search within the vast amount of possible peptides for interesting candidates for new biomaterials. This pipeline is mainly based on molecular dynamics simulations and starts with a coarse-grain (CG) approach to screen for initial self-assembly. I will develop analysis tools to process the 'big data' produced. Via additional CG and all-atom simulations of a narrower selection I will submit the most promising nanostructures to experimental investigation. This will be an iterative process where the experimental feedback will be used to extract general design rules for new peptides and to improve the pipeline further.





Dr. P.W.J.M. Frederix

Verbonden aan

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB)


Dr. P.W.J.M. Frederix, N.B. Niet Bekend en Niet Gebruiken


01/12/2015 tot 30/11/2018