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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J008044/1
Title: Synthetic Information Molecules
Principal Investigator: Hunter, Professor CA
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 March 2012 Ends: 31 August 2014 Value (£): 336,706
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biological & Medicinal Chem.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 Sep 2011 EPSRC Physical Sciences Chemistry - September 2011 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Nature has long inspired chemists with glimpses of the awesome levels of sophistication and functionality that are possible with well-organised molecular systems. By comparison, the prototype synthetic molecular machines that are beginning to emerge are still very primitive. Arguably, the most important molecule in Nature is the nucleic acid: in biology, it is used to store and reproduce genetic information via template-directed synthesis; the single-stranded forms function as catalysts for chemical transformations; the double-stranded forms have found widespread applications as programmable building materials for nanotechnology. The information content of nucleic acids appears to offer generic solutions in a wide range of areas: surface tiling, nanoobjects, structure templates, reaction templates, molecule-based calculations, molecular switches, molecular walkers etc. These properties are currently unrivalled in any other material, but the aim of this proposal is to develop new classes of information molecules that will offer a programmable synthetic alternative to the nucleic acids. The programme of work described in this proposal will establish the general principles using specific systems that look promising based on our current knowledge, but this work will open the door to a very wide range of synthetic information polymers that will have a significant impact on the development of future nanotechnology.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk