Seminars in April 2011

April 1, 2011, 12 p.m. - The physics behind viruses (David Reguera)

Viruses are astounding biological organisms, constituted essentially by a protein shell named “capsid” that wraps up and protects the genetic material (DNA or RNA) inside. Despite this apparent simplicity, they have evolved to master the arts of replicating, self-assembling, encapsulating and delivering their genetic cargo with amazing, and sometimes frightening, ...

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April 8, 2011, 12 p.m. - Linking predictive simulations with experiments in small-scale mechanics: three examples (Marino Arroyo)

In this talk, I will present our efforts to produce predictive models and simulations for the mechanics of small-scale systems of current interest in nano and bio technology. Quantitative experiments demand quantitative models, beyond oversimplifications and phenomenology. Yet, detailed molecular models often cannot access the relevant time and length scales, ...

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April 15, 2011, 12 p.m. - Polyelectrolyte gels and application to cyclic drug delivery devices (Carme Calderer)

Hydrogels consist of electrically charged polymeric networks holding fluid. The electrostatic energy of the combined system of the free ions in the fluid and the bound network charges competes with the elastic energy of the polymer. This results in a volume phase transition between the collapsed (dry) and the swollen ...

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April 29, 2011, 12 p.m. - Biocatalysis with cytochromes P450: from protein design to enzyme reactor (Vlada Urlacher)

Whereas numerous interesting P450 monooxygenase-catalyzed reactions have been described in the literature, examples for process implementation and scale-up to pilot or industrial scales are comparatively rare. Obviously, it needs a long time and excellent knowledge of the corresponding P450 systems to develop industrial processes due to the complexity of these ...

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