Bio-science at Target Station 2
10 Sep 2009



New opportunities for bio-science at the ISIS second target station.




The explosion of research and understanding in biological and life sciences makes it currently one of the most vibrant areas of scientific activity, with many important and far-reaching benefits. Topics in bio-science have many similarities with the problems in soft matter, and expansion into this key research area is a major goal of the ISIS Second Target Station Project.

Areas of research such as drug creation and delivery, metabolic pathways, processing effects, pesticide activity, artificial bio-synthetic materials and virus interactions are all closely linked to an understanding of the structures of membranes, membrane-protein interactions, the structure of macromolecular complexes and bio-compatibility.

Neutron scattering can give either low-resolution information about large features, such as lipids surrounding a macromolecule, micelle structure, or high-resolution information about water solvent structure, hydrogen binding and precise active site geometry.

New opportunities for bio-science

  • Pharmaceuticals, drug delivery formulations, membrane-protein interactions, bio-compatibility and functionality, food technology
  • Interfaces and membranes: structural organisation of membranes and membrane-protein systems
  • Macromolecular assemblies: low resolution studies on macromolecular assemblies, in systems not tractable by high resolution crystallography, viruses, glyco-proteins, protein folding, protein-nucleic acid interactions. Solvent structure. Meso-scale structure
  • Pharmaceuticals: determination of new drug structures, where the role of hydrogen atoms is essential in understanding drug-receptor interactions. Molecular engineering
  • Food technology: study of solvent distribution and structural changes in complex assemblies (for example starches) during processing. Protein fouling. Protein adsorption and colloidal stability. Mechanism of foam and gel formation