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Dr. Lucio Colombi Ciacchi University of Bremen, Germany

Event Date: 
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Atomistic insights into the adsorption of enzymes at oxide

The immobilization of enzymes on chemically inert and insoluble nanostructured supports is required for their use as biological catalysts in a large variety of chemical reactions. Immobilization strategies need to be designed so as to ensure a maximum enzyme coverage and a minimum loss of enzymatic efficiency upon binding to the support. This can be achieved if precise knowledge of the enzyme binding orientations, anchoring sites and changes of conformational structure after adsorption is available. In this talk we will present combined atomistic simulations and experiments performed in our group and in

collaboration with our partners to achieve such goal. Advanced-sampling molecular dynamics methods are used together with realistic models of liquid/solid interfaces and accurately optimized force fields to study the adsorption modes of enzymes, in particular chymotrypsin, on SiO2 and TiO2 surfaces. The computer simulations are complemented by measurements of adsorption isotherms, enzymatic activities, binding forces and secondary structure changes. I will discuss the predictive power of our computer-guided design and highlight intrinsic limitations due to phase-space sampling of larger simulated systems.


Lucio Colombi Ciacchi studied Materials Engineering in Trieste, Italy and gained a PhD in materials science from the University of Dresden, Germany. Since 2008 he holds the “Hybrid Materials Interfaces” chair at the faculty of Production Engineering of the University of Bremen, Germany. He is the Speaker of the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes and Coordinator of the interdisciplinary study program

“Process-Oriented Materials Research”. He has published more than 100 papers in materials science and engineering, chemistry, and physics. His research is devoted to the atomic-scale study of interfaces between different materials and phases, with particular interest in bio-hybrid and soft-matter/hard-matter interfaces, combining both modelling and experimental techniques.

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