Development of novel supramolecular assemblies based on proteins and polyoxometalates
Polyoxometalates (POMs) are generally described as a class of negatively charged metal-oxygen structures with properties strongly dependent on their nature. This variety makes POMs very attractive as chemical agents. In fact, they are applied in various fields such as catalysis, materials science and medicine. Hybrid POMs (HPOMs) are POMs bearing organic linkers that can introduce a wide range of new properties. Recent research has demonstrated the ability to decorate HPOMs with various bioactive molecules including amino acids and biotin (vitamin B7). The last example opens a great opportunity for incorporation of HPOMs into novel systems based on biotin-binding proteins, such as avidin and streptavidin, allowing the formation of new HPOM-protein assemblies with potential applications in catalysis and in the development of novel biomaterials for bio-nanotechnology. Despite the advancement of synthetic methodologies for creating hybrid POMs, the area of HPOM-protein hybrids is virtually unexplored. Therefore, the main objective of this project is to develop novel methodologies for creating hybrid bio/inorganic supramolecular assemblies based on proteins and polyoxometalates. As a result, this project aims at establishing a novel field related to the rational design of the protein-polyoxometalate hybrid materials.