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Mr Alex De Bruin

Direct Measurement of Interactions between Chiral Protein Brushes and Their Applications in Biomaterials

Chiral symmetry is ubiquitous in nature, but the interactions between chiral molecules have not yet been fully characterised. My research involves designing a model system for the direct measurement of molecularly and macroscopically chiral surfaces and a I ave designed a novel method for characterising the chirality of such surfaces using synchrotron radiation.

The proposed model system, chiral poly(L/D acryloyl [amino acid]) brushes, are synthesised on both muscovite mica and silicon substrates using a novel polymeric macroinitiator, and their surface chirality and thin film structure are characterised using Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure/ Circular Dichroism (NEXAFS-CD) and Soft Resonant X-Ray Reflectometry.(SRXRR) respectively.

I hope to eventually correlate surface chirality with biological activity, with the aim of producing novel biomaterials.

Research keywords

  • Nanoscience
  • X-ray reflectometry
  • Polymers
  • Soft Matter
  • Biomaterials
  • Chrality