Leonard Prins

Leonard Prins

University of Padova
 (39) 49-827-5251


Self-Assembly of Peptides on Gold Nanoparticles for Molecular Recognition and Catalysis

The exquisite properties of proteins in terms of molecular recognition and catalysis derive in large part from their size and structural complexity. Their size permits the presence of internal cavities, which are well-shielded from the bulk solvent, and permit additional advantages like allosteric control by secondary binding sites and multivalent interactions to drive protein-protein interactions. The fact that all proteins are composed of a very limited number of amino acids renders these structures even more fascinating.

Scientific Figure

A strong impetus exists to develop synthetic structures able to match the size and complexity of proteins for applications in diagnostics, medicine and materials science. The advantage of synthetic structures is the ability to design the desired structure and the possibility to include non-natural building blocks. Here, we show that the self-assembly of peptides on Au nanoparticles is an attractive tool to obtain functional protein-like nanostructures for application in molecular recognition and catalysis.


Leonard J. Prins


Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy


1. Solís Muñana, P.(+); Ragazzon, G.(+); Dupont, J.; Ren, Z.-J.; Prins, L.J & Chen, J.-L.Substrate-Induced Self-Assembly of Cooperative Catalysts, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 57, 16469 -16474
2. Neri, S.; Martin, S.G.; Pezzato, C. & Prins, L.J. Photoswitchable Catalysis by a Nanozyme Mediated by a Light-Sensitive Cofactor, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 1794-1797
3. Garcia Martin, S. & Prins, L.J. Self-assembled peptide surfaces on monolayer protected gold nanoparticles, Chem. Comm., 2016 52, 9387-9390
4. Chen, J. L.-Y., Pezzato, C., Scrimin, P. & Prins, L.J. Chiral nanozymes - Gold nanoparticle-based transphosphorylation catalysts capable of enantiodiscrimination, Chem. Eur. J., 2016, 22, 7028-7032
5. Zaramella, D., Scrimin, P. & Prins, L. J. Self-Assembly of a Catalytic Multivalent Peptide-Nanoparticle Complex, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 8396-8399

Lecture Images

Leonard Prins presenting at APS2019 Leonard Prins presenting at APS2019 Leonard Prins presenting at APS2019