Европейская сеть поддержки предпринимательства

(Российское представительство)

MSCA-ITN-2020: Application of knots in polymer and biopolymers for new materials and into the design of ultra-stable enzymes and DNA or protein sequencing. Partners sought to put together a consortium

Profile ID: 86547

Profile type: Research Development Request




Basque research centre wishes to establish a consortium for the H2020 MSCA-ITN-2020 call with the objective of understanding and exploiting the effect of the topological state of biopolymers in naturally occurring phenomena as well as in technological application. SMEs and companies dealing with applications of knots in polymer and biopolymers for new materials and ultra-stable enzymes and DNA or protein sequencing are sought.

Offer description

Although topology is an old and well-established field of science, the creation, in Europe, of a cross-disciplinary community that covers biophysics, materials science and mathematics, would be a highly novel and needed result. The overlap between biopolymers and materials science has been made more evident by the recent developments in the field of colloidal matter where there is now the possibility of building chains of particles with controlled shape and interactions to the extent that specific topology can be designed into the equilibrium configuration of the chains. To date, control over the synthesis of knotted molecules is a challenging task, especially if a specific internal structure of the knot is required. The Basque research centre has come up with a network of experts called Why Knot which is aimed at training the next generations of scientists and researchers in the field of polymer and biopolymer topology. This project is meant for overcoming the lack of the above-mentioned multidisciplinar community in Europe. Its long-term objective is to reach the scientific knowledge necessary to control the knotted stated of polymers including different groups of biomolecules. Other specific goals: a) Design of topologically exotic materials, b) Understanding DNA Topology: the translocation properties of DNA and proteins can be strongly influenced by their topological state, and control over such properties has important implications for the development of antiviral drugs and to prevent the misfolding of proteins, c) Understanding the control of molecular translocation driven by topology: It is crucial to study how translocation can be controlled at the molecular level using topology, d) Understanding topological control over protein stability: Topological alteration of a protein backbone configuration can be used to increase its stability. For example, the cyclization of a protein-based painkiller, normally administered intravenously, resulted in a highly stable variant that could resist the gastrointestinal digestion process. Experts from theory and experiments across the fields of physics, biology and chemistry are gathered; 12 academic beneficiaries (AB) in Europe, 1 non-academic beneficiary (NAB), 4 non-beneficiary non-academic partners (NAP), plus 5 non-beneficiary academic partners (AP) from around the word to train 15 Early-Stage Researchers (ESR). Official deadline for the call: January 18th, 2020 Deadline for expression of interest: December 1st, 2019 Anticipated duration of the project: 4 years

Innovations and advantages

The importance of topology and knots, in particular, has been recognised in the biophysics, colloids and soft matter communities, yet the conventional separation between sub-disciplines means that progress in one area is not always transferred to another. Also, several technologies are now mature enough to manipulate and take advantage of conformational features such as knots. It is therefore timely to bring together scientists from these different fields.

Technology keywords

06002001 Biochemistry / Biophysics
06004 Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
06006004 Biopolymers

Market application codes

04005 Biochemistry / Biophysics
04017 Micro- and Nanotechnology releated to Biological sciences

Profile date



Type of partner sought

The Basque research centre will coordinate the consortium. They are looking for SME and Industrial companies interested in the applications of knots in polymer and biopolymers for new materials and ultra-stable enzymes and DNA or Protein sequencing. For instance, companies working with enzymes could find in the research conducted within the Why Knot network, solutions to protein stability at extreme conditions. Companies working on polymer-based materials could profit from the design of topologically entangled polymer networks developed within the consortium. The network’s novel approach to the translocation of biopolymers with complex topologies offers also technological opportunities for companies working on DNA and protein sequencing. Finally, the researchers trained within the network will have direct interactions with the industrial partners and dedicated training that the companies could profit from in case of future employment. Likewise, companies that handle project management and training in transferable skills will be welcome.


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