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Modulating the colloidal behaviour of amphiphilic nanoparticles

Thursday 19 September 2019, 1.30PM to 2.30pm

Speaker(s): Ye Yang and Dr Stefan Guldin, University College London

About the speakers:

Ye Yang is a material scientist with a broad research interests ranging from colloidal self-assembly and biological sensing based on molecular recognition. After undergraduate and master studies in materials science and engineering at Tsinghua University (China) and EPFL (Switzerland), he was awarded the Overseas Research Scholarship and Graduate Research Scholarship for his PhD study at UCL on the interplay between amphiphilic gold nanoparticles and small molecules. Ye Yang has published 6 articles in peer reviewed journals (incl. 1st authorship in Nanoscale, Langmuir and JPCC), 1 book chapter and 1 European patent.  

Dr Stefan Guldin is an associate professor in Chemical Engineering and head of the Adaptive and Responsive Nanomaterials (AdReNa) group at University College London. He studied Physics at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (2003-05) and the Technical University of Munich (2005-08) and graduated with a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2012 (Advisor: Prof Ulli Steiner; thesis title: Inorganic nanoarchitectures by organic self-assembly). Subsequently, Dr Guldin carried out postdoctoral research as a scholar of the German Academy of Sciences at EPFL (Advisor: Prof Francesco Stellacci) before taking up his current position in 2015. His research interests include the study of material formation on the nanoscale by molecular self-assembly, creation of adaptive and responsive materials architectures and translation into real-world applications, ranging from biomedical diagnostics to electrochemical devices and optical coatings. To date, SG published 33 peer-reviewed articles (incl. Nature Communications, Nano Letters and Advanced Materials) as well as six conference proceedings, one book chapter and one book.

Abstract: Polar and hydrophobic interactions dominate most biophysical processes with ionic functional groups and non-polar domains commonly displayed by biological entities. However, the intriguing behaviour of nanoscale macromolecules, such as the regulation of intracellular protein interactions, extends beyond the current understanding of colloidal systems. From a molecular chemistry perspective, proteins and functionalised nanoparticles share a plethora of structural similarities. They are amphiphilic colloidal systems with distinct interfacial properties at similar nanoscopic length scale, governed by the diversity and complexity of their surface morphologies. Based on the thiol-for-oleylamine ligand-exchange synthesis, a versatile platform for gold nanoparticle engineering is established for the decoupled control of core size and surface functionality. This provides a powerful toolbox for systematic studies on colloidal stability as well as ligand-shell mediated nanoparticle-stimuli interactions. By systematic evaluation of the small-angle X-ray scattering profiles of amphiphilic gold nanoparticles in various aqueous solutions, our research offers a rich resource to explore the colloidal behaviour of amphiphilic nanoparticles and their molecular interaction with small molecules, thus promoting a better understanding of many unresolved questions around solvent-mediated interactions on protein behaviours, such as protein folding and protein aggregation.

Location: C/A/122