Dr. Subhabrata Maiti
Assistant Professor , Chemical Sciences

Email smaiti(AT)iisermohali.ac.in  
Phone +91 9836553791
Fax +91 172 2240266
Personal Page Mywebpage                            
ORCID id http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2554-0762
Research Area
Bio-organic Chemistry, Molecular Self-assembly and Systems Chemistry
Research Focus

Since centuries, chemistry as a subject is mainly focused on the challenges of making, purifying and studying compounds. However, for the chemists, still there remains a large void in terms of understanding and mimicking the chemistry of autonomous functioning of cell and eventually life. This led to develop a new branch of chemistry named systems chemistry where the challenges are to create a synthetic organism (de novo form of life) both for better understanding the inner functioning of biology and also to create engineered life forms. In this context it is worthy to mention that one of the fundamental feature of life is that it operates out-of-equilibrium and it needs constant influx of energy to remain in a dynamic state. To this end, the prime aim of our research direction will be to find the fundamentals of emerging behavior in dynamic self-assembly processes. At the same time the design of energy dependent, life-inspired catalytic chemical systems that can potentially contribute towards sustainable chemical engineering and healthcare technology will be investigated. Overall, the research area will be multidisciplinary, encompassing the area of (bio)organic chemistry, colloidal chemistry, nanotechnology and flow chemistry. Thus our prime research activities will be the following-

i) Dynamic self-assembly, nano/microscale motion and evolution: It is hypothesized that life first started on the planet Earth as a unicellular body almost 3.5-4 billion years ago. Then with time it gains complexity and starts assembling to the formation of colonial organisms like microbes and gradually to more complex multicellular body with reproductive property. Herein, we will investigate the migratory and assembly behavior of different biomolecules containing nano(micro)scale materials and how it should affect the growth and replication of the overall system.

ii) Multivalent colloidal systems for (bio)sensing and (bio)catalysis: The aim of this research direction will be to judiciously develop nano-structures which can detect disease-specific proteins/enzymes in straightforward and non-invasive way. On the other hand, this project will demonstrate the utility of dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) for the development of systems with the size and complexity of proteins which are also disease specific. This will constitute a major step forward for this technology, which has so far been limited to molecular systems of relatively low complexity and structural variety. Additionally, these nanostructures will be used for task-specific enzymatic catalysis as well as to delineate the role of catalytic property of nucleic acid structures with an aim of designing ‘synthetic ribosome’.

Selected Publications

  • Subhabrata Maiti, Ilaria Fortunati, Camilla Ferrante, Paolo Scrimin and Leonard J. Prins. “Dissipative self-assembly of vesicular nanoreactors” Nature Chem. 2016, 8, 725.
  • Subhabrata Maiti, Cristian Pezzato, Sergio Garcia Martin and Leonard J. Prins. “Multivalent interactions regulate signal transduction in a self-assembled Hg2+ sensor” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 11288.
  • Flavio della Sala, Subhabrata Maiti, Andrea Bonanni, Paolo Scrimin and Leonard J. Prins. “Fuel-Selective Transient Activation of Nanosystems for Signal Generation” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 1611.
  • Subhabrata Maiti, Ilaria Fortunati, Ayusman Sen and Leonard J. Prins. “Spatially controlled clustering of nucleotide-templated vesicles” Chem. Commun. 2018, 54, 4818.
  • Subhabrata Maiti, Krishnendu Das, Sounak Dutta and Prasanta Kumar Das. “Striking improvement in peroxidase activity of cytochrome C by modulating hydrophobicity of surface-functionalized GNPs within cationic reverse micelle” Chem. Eur. J. 2012, 18, 15021.