European Union

Status: finished project
Contract Number:
CTQ2005-25205-E _ and _ CTQ-2006-27171E
Starting date 
1 January 2006
Ending date 
30 September 2009

The interactions of oligosaccharides with carbohydrate-binding proteins are of relevance to the function of drugs and vaccines. A part of the carbohydrate guest molecule fits into a binding pocket of the host molecule, but often only weak interactions are responsible for this attraction. Binding of the carbohydrate guest results in many cases in a change of conformation. Since only few host-guest molecules can be crystallized or analysed by NMR methods only few of these interactions are understood. More detailed studies of these conformational changes of the host-guest assemblies by new scanning probe methods prove of vital importance and hold the potential to inspire new ways of drug and vaccine design and production. We attempt to design molecular systems, which can be attached to surfaces (e.g. graphite) and studied in single molecule resolution with scanning probe methods. Rather than in an ensemble with diffraction methods, new interaction processes may be accessed on the single molecule level and the assembly dynamics can eventually be watched. Theoretical modelling for this undertaking is mandatory in order to fully understand the observed interactions and assembly dynamics and will be performed with state of the art density functional methods, perturbation theory and Green´s function approaches.


  1. Dr. Bianca Hermann.
  2. Dr. Angel Rubio, Universidad del País Vasco.
  3. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger, Laboratorium für Organische Chemie, Swiss Fedderal Institute of Technology.

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