Protein Reactivity in Sol-Gel Matrices: Hydration Effects in Confined Spaces

Project: Research project

Project Details


Confined proteins (in synthetic matrices, e.g. sol-gels) as a class of materials have
significant potential utility for a broad range of biomedical and biotechnology
applications. In most situations, long-term protein stability with either retention or
enhancement of activity is required. To fully harness the biomedical implications of
confined proteins, it is essential to understand the biophysical mechanisms of how
confinement and co-solutes (i.e. osmolytes) modulate the relevant protein properties.
The proposed project is built on the growing realization that protein dynamics determine
stability and reactivity and that these functionally important protein dynamics are in turn
significantly modulated by hydration shell waters.
The proposed project will use a combination of spectroscopic, kinetic and simulation
based approaches to determine on a molecular biophysics level, how confinement in the
presence and absence of osmolytes alters hydration shell water interactions and how
these alterations in hydration shell properties impact functionally important protein
dynamics. This overall objective will be pursued through two specific aims:
Specific aims 1. Determine how confinement in the presence and absence of added
osmolytes modifies hydration shell waters of select proteins and peptides.
Specific aims 2. Determine how confinement in the presence and absence of added
osmolytes impacts functionally important categories of protein dynamics.
Effective start/end date9/30/098/31/11


  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biotechnology


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