Recognition of the Pathogen
Every organism can be identified through specific structures on its surface. These structures may be used by pathogens like viruses, bacteria or fungi to attach and to infect their host. But also pathogens have specific surface structures that can be recognised by antibodies which normally leads to the elimination of the pathogen. The mechanism of this specific pathogen-host interaction will be used in the IZIB for the development of new sensor-actor-molecules.
At first such minimal structures are identified that allow the binding of the pathogen. Therefore, short peptides but also specific glycan structures can be used. With the arrangement of the binding structures on a scaffold, a "superantibody" will be generated that binds a specific pathogen. As the surface and antibody structures are extremely complex, extensive work in screening and synthesis is necessary to filter the appropriate minimal structures and to generate new artificial binders. Therefore, the potential of array technologies is used as well as cDNA-banks of pathogen genomes or antibody technologies.