Physical Chemistry 1, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University

Postal address: Fysikalisk kemi, P.O. Box 124 , SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Visiting address: Getingevägen 60
Web page: http://www.fkem1.lu.se/

Contact person: Professor Björn Lindman, phone: +46 (0)46 2228160

Research at the division of Physical Chemistry 1 deals with surface and colloid science with strong links between experiment and theory. Central areas of research are surfactant self-assembly, polymers in solutions, and gels and polymer interactions with surfactants. Investigations of disperse systems as well as adsorption to various interfaces are also carried out. The main experimental techniques comprise nuclear magnetic resonance, ellipsometry, scattering techniques, surface force measurements, AFM and electron microscopy. Theoretical approaches include computer simulations and modeling of phase equilibria, colloid particle solutions, and electrostatic interactions.

South Asia related research at the department:

Prof. Björn Lindman has been involved in research group working on Cationic Surfactants. In November 2008, Prof. Lindman received a Swedish Research Links (Asian–Swedish research partnership programme) grant – SEK 550 000 for three years (2009-11) for a project titled ”Cationic Surfactant-DNA Complex: An insight into DNA Compaction in Gene Delivery Correlation”. See the full list of South Asia related projects given Swedish Research Links gants 2008.
It was a collaboration partner with two Indian research groups, one in Delhi, one in Kolkata.
The contact persons on the Indian side were Dr. Souvik Maiti at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi; and Associate Professor Prasanta Kumar Das at the Dept. of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata.
Abstract of the project: Environment friendly cationic surfactants (CS) that have low toxicity, biocompatibility, and biodegradability are one of the key components in the field of gene therapy. Amino acid (AA) CS belong to such group.
Previously, we have developed a number of CS with varied head group architecture and studied the influence of such structural modification on the compaction of DNA. It was found that although the DNA-CS complex formation was independent of surfactant head group, the accessibility to DNA by ethidium bromide was somewhat preserved for the more hydrophilic surfactants. For naturally occurring AACS, it was shown that the surfactants with more complex/ bulkier hydrophobic head-group interact more strongly with DNA but exclude ethidium bromide less efficiently. The surfactants with larger head group showed a lower cytotoxicity. In this collaborative research the researchers will explore the interaction between DNA and a series of both synthetic amino acid-based (mono and di-peptide amphiphiles) at different pH, and tetraalkylated CS with head groups of varying sizes. The CS will be synthesized and their micellar properties will be studied (Kolkata). Interaction between the CS and DNA will be studied by the group in Delhi and structural studies on the surfactant-DNA complexes will be carried out in Lund. The data will be a guideline in preparing DNA-CS complexes of controlled stability that are particularly promising for development of gene delivery systems.