Water interacting with lipid membranes, polypeptides and poly sugars
Another future direction is the study of the effects of co-solutes like salts and sugars on the properties of proteins and polysaccharides in aqueous solution. It is well known that ions and sugars have a profound effect on the spatial conformation of biomolecular systems, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood. Ions can affect the conformation by binding directly to the protein, thereby exerting strong local electric fields, or by changing the structure and dynamics of the solvating water. It is also possible that a combination of these effects is at play. This latter project will be carried out in a cooperation with Danone and Unilever (within the Nanonext program).