Multivalency as a chemical organization and action principle

  1. editorImage
  1. Editor: Prof. Rainer Haag
    Freie Universität Berlin

Multivalency is a key principle in nature to establish strong, but also reversible chemical interactions between two units, e.g., a receptor and a ligand, viruses and host cells, or between two cell surfaces. Multivalent binding is based on multiple simultaneous molecular recognition processes and plays an important role in the self-organization of matter, in biological recognition processes as well as in signal transduction in biological systems. The targeted development of multivalent molecules is not only used for the strong inhibition of proteins and prevention of pathogen infections, but also allows for the selective production of functional molecular architectures and surface structures as well as the controlled interaction of multivalent surfaces. In the future a deeper understanding of multivalent interactions at all length scales from the nanometer to the micrometer range is crucial for solving important problems and for the development of new systems in the fields of life and materials science.

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