Multivalent interactions are important in cell attachment, wound healing and immune responses. Such interactions are associated with cancer metastasis, blood clotting and the generation of antibodies from a vaccination. Mimicking multivalent interactions on a synthetic scaffold is challenging especially when large numbers of ligands (such as 5 or more) need to be displayed. There are numerous synthetic scaffolds that have been developed, but there are significant limitations that remain.
Scientists at the NIH have designed a novel multivalent scaffold that can display anywhere from 1 to 200 ligands. This system allows different types of ligands to be displayed in a controlled, spatially-addressable manner. This system uses peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) containing gamma-substituted side chains. PNAs are synthetic molecules that possess the bases derived from DNA. This invention could revolutionize the way in which multivalent display is used in research as well as help make vaccinations or prevent disease.
- Controlled interactions ensure only a single stoichiometry is attained.
- Simple access to a wide range of multivalent platforms.