Dr Seishi Shimizu

01904 328281
E-mail: seishi.shimizu@york.ac.uk

Solvents, solvation, and solubility; Statistical thermodynamics of biomolecules, drugs, and food

Solvation is crucial in chemistry, biophysics and engineering:  

  • Without reasonable solubility, many chemical processes do not work. Yet choosing appropriate solvents or solvent mixtures is often very difficult.
  • Using alternative solvents with less environmental impact has become imperative.
  • Biomolecular structure and function are affected by the solvent water.

We investigate the following questions:

  1. Can we understand solvation / solubility from basic molecular interactions?
  2. Why do some additives (cosolvents, hydrotropes, entrainers) dramatically increase solubility?
  3. What is the molecular mechanism of solvation in pure and mixed solvents?

Simple measurements, such as density and activity, give surprisingly effective answer to these questions. This is the power of statistical mechanics. [Shimizu, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 1159 (2004); Booth et al. J. Phys. Chem. 116, 14915 (2012)]

Further information

Selected Publications

  • Subnanoscale hydrophobic modulation of salt bridges in aqueous media
    S Chen, Y Itoh, T Masuda, S Shimizu, J Zhao, J Ma, S Nakamura, K Okuro, H Noguchi, K Uosaki and T Aida, Science, 2015, 348 (6234), 555-559
  • Preferential Solvation: Dividing surface vs excess numbers.
    S Shimizu and N Matubayasi, J Phys Chem B, 2014, 118, 3922-3930.
  • Hydrotropy: Monomer–micelle equilibrium and minimum hydrotrope concentration.
    S Shimizu and N Matubayasi, J Phys Chem B, 2014, 118, 10515-10524.
  • The Mechanism of Hydrophobic Drug Solubilization by Small Molecule Hydrotropes.
    J J Booth, S Abbott and S Shimizu, J Phys Chem B, 2012, 116, 14915–14921.
  • Estimating hydration changes upon biomolecular reactions from osmotic stress, high pressure, and preferential hydration experiments.
    S Shimizu, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2004, 101, 1195-1199.