High level research at the nanoscale

The Nanoscience Center (NSC) hosts more than hundred researchers with a background in biology, chemistry or physics. The strength of NSC is that there are people from all areas, from practical biologists to theoretical physicists. In addition to experimental work, substantial effort is invested in the theoretical and computational study of nanosystems.

Research highlights of year 2019

Reconfigurable DNA Origami Nanocapsule for pH-Controlled Encapsulation and Display of CargoHeini_ijäs_2019.png

Researchers from the Nanoscience Center of the University of Jyväskylä and Aalto University in Finland have developed a customized DNA nanostructure that can perform a predefined task in human body-like conditions. To do so, the team built a capsule-like carrier that opens and closes according to the pH level of the surrounding solution. The nanocapsule can be loaded—or packed—with a variety of cargo, closed for delivery and opened again through a subtle pH increase. The research was published in ACS Nano.

H. Ijäs, I. Hakaste, B. Shen, M. A. Kostiainen and V. Linko "Reconfigurable DNA Origami Nanocapsule for pH-Controlled Encapsulation and Display of CargoACS Nano, 2019JYU press releaseAalto University press release, and Tekniikka&Talous 

N-heterocyclic carbene-functionalized magic-number gold nanoclustersN-heterocyclic carbene-functionalized magic-number gold nanoclusters.jpeg

The Nanoscience Center of the University of Jyväskylä is involved in international cooperation together with researchers from Japan and Canada. The recent results show that gold particles act as catalysts for accelerating electrochemical reactions. This is a reduction reaction where carbon dioxide (CO2) is converted into water (H2O) and carbon monoxide (CO). The research was published in Nature Chemistry.

M. R. Narouz, K. M. Osten, P. J. Unsworth, R. W. Y. Man, K. Salorinne, S. Takano, R. Tomihara, S. Kaappa, S. Malola, C.-T. Dinh, J. D. Padmos, K. Ayoo, P. J. Garrett, M. Nambo, J. H. Horton, E. H. Sargent, H. Häkkinen, T. Tsukuda and C. M. Crudden "N-heterocyclic carbene-functionalized magic-number gold nanoclustersNat. Chem., 2019 and JYU press release.

Exploring fast proton transfer events associated with lateral proton diffusion on the surface of membranes

In biological systems, proton diffusion (PD) and transfer are fundamental processes, occuring for example in  the cellular respiration and photosynthesis. A collaborative research between the Nanoscience Center of University of Jyväskylä and Israel Institute of Technology has brought new light on the proton diffusion process across biological membranes. In this research, a new spectroscopic probe was experimentally designed, to light-initiate and follow the PD on lipid membranes. The research was published in peer-reviewed scientific journal PNAS.

N. Amdursky, Y. Lin, N. Aho, G. Groenhof "Exploring fast proton transfer events associated with lateral proton diffusion on the surface of membranes" PNAS, 2019 and JYU press release.

A nucleophilic gold complex

Nano_highlight1.jpegA collaborative research effort between the Departments of Chemistry at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) and University of Jyväskylä (Finland) has resulted in the discovery of a gold compound exhibiting nucleophilic behaviour hitherto unknown for molecular gold. The research enables new opportunities in applying gold compounds, for example, as catalysts in novel chemical reactions. The research was published in Nature Chemistry.

J. Hicks, A. Mansikkamäki, P. Vasko, J. M. Goicochea, S. Aldridge "A nucleophilic gold complex". Nat. Chem., 2019 and JYU press release.

Research highlights from previous years