Virtual Seminar Series organized by the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering "Giulio Natta" waiting to be able to resume the live activity.
The Virtual Seminars will be broadcast with the Microsoft Teams application.
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The link to follow the Virtual Seminar will be sent by email to the registered participants.
It's possible to register for one or more Virtual Seminars.
In bioinspired materials there is a search for ever more complex functionalities and responses. Classic functionalities in materials science are stimuli-responses and shape-memory effects, relevant for numerous applications. Beyond those, could materials showing a response to a particular stimulus become responsive to another stimulus to which they are originally indifferent? Such a behavior would mimic the classical conditioning in behavioral psychology, one of the elementary forms of associative learning, originally shown by Pavlov in his experiments with dogs. Here we demonstrate two soft matter systems (a hydrogel and a liquid crystalline network) programmed to mimic classical conditioning. We foresee a wealth of possibilities for different materials systems, combinations of stimuli and different "memory" concepts for classically conditioned functional materials.
Viral infections are among the main causes of death in the world. When prevention is not an option, antiviral drugs are the last resort to prevent the spread and the mortality of these infections. There are only a few effective drugs on the market, for the most part they prevent intracellular viral replication. Unfortunately, they are too few when compared to the many viruses that threaten humans.
In this talk, I will show a new design rule to achieve drugs that fight viruses extracellularly by irreversibly inhibiting their infectivity, i.e. I will show how to create virucidal compounds. The design of these macromolecular virucidal agents starts by a bio-mimic approach and is characterized by the limited toxicity towards host cells that one would expect from such compounds. Yet, I will demonstrate that the multivalent binding to the viruses, coupled with a large hydrophobic contact between the compounds and the virus leads to a loss of integrity of the virion that obviously leads to an irreversible loss of infectivity. Results in and ex-vivo will be illustrated especially for the cases of influenza, herpes, and respiratory syncytial virus.
Integrated structural biology approaches provide us with an opportunity to understand the inner workings of proteins and protein complexes that controls basic cellular functions. Recent technical advances in electron. Microscopy (EM) have allowed us to overcome previous limitations restricting the size and heterogeneity of complexes under study. The resulting movies show, at near atomic resolution, large macromolecular machines at work. Looking forwards, the future holds the promise of routinely carrying out high-resolution imaging of these machines operating within normal and diseased cells.