[Soft Matter Café] Compositional design of deep eutectic solvents to tailor protein folding

In recent years, deep eutectic solvents (DESs) have emerged as environmentally friendly alternatives in different technologies, such as separation processes, synthesis of nanostructured materials, and biocatalysis [1]. DESs are green solvents obtained through the combination of cheap and simple organic compounds, where a depression in the melting point allows the mixture to remain liquid at room temperature. Moreover, the combination of different precursors provides fine control over the physicochemical properties of the solvent (e.g., solvent polarity and charge density). Thus, DESs are task-specific “cocktails”, where the properties of the solvent can be tuned to suit particular applications. DESs have recently shown the ability to support ubiquitous physicochemical processes that occur in water, such as the solvophobic sequestration and protein folding [2, 3]. This brings the possibility of developing new responsive biomaterials. In this presentation with controlled function. In this talk, we will walk through the fundamentals aspects that control protein folding in DESs, where solvophobicity, specific ion interactions, and electrostatics rule a world of infinite possibilities [4, 5].

[1] Hansen et al., Chem Rev 2021, 121 (3).
[2] Warr and Atkin, Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science 2020, 45.
[3] Sanchez-Fernandez et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2017, 19 (13).
[4] Sanchez-Fernandez, A.; Prevost, S.; Wahlgren, M., Green Chem. 2022, 24 (11).
[5] Sanchez-Fernandez et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144 (51), 23657-23667.


About the speaker:  Dr. Sanchez-Fernandez completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Bath (United Kingdom) and moved to Lund University (Sweden) as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Currently, he works at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) after receiving the Maria Zambrano and Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships. His research interests cover the assembly of rationally designed systems, ranging from the supramolecular assembly of amphiphiles in deep eutectic solvents to the design and synthesis of novel environmentally friendly surfactants with controlled function. Also, he investigates the development of non-aqueous environments for protein folding, function, and preservation.