Chemically-fueled self-assembly in biology and chemistry 

Krishnendu Das, Luca Gabrielli
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.  2021
accepted (link)

Review article

In this Review we describe how chemical energy can be used to control the self-assembly of organic molecules. The ability of chemists to implement chemically-fueled self-assembly in a synthetic context will permit the development of artificial systems with life-like properties.

Enhanced catalytic activity under non-equilibrium conditions

Rui Chen, Simona Neri
Nat. Nanotech. 2020, 15, 868-874 (link)

Local irradiation of a hydrogel installs a non-equilibrium steady state with persistent concentration gradients. An enhanced catalytic activity is observed under non-equilibrium conditions.

Transient DNA‐Based Nanostructures Controlled by Redox Inputs

Erica Del Grosso
Angew. Chem. 2020, 59, 13238-13245 (link)

Read the latest paper of our collaboration with the Ricci-group on the chemically fuelled self-assembly of DNA nanotubes

ATP-fuelled self-assembly to regulate chemical reactivity in the time domain 

Maria Cardona
Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 1518 - 1522 (link)

The addition of ATP under dissipative conditions causes the selective transient upregulation of a chemical reaction.

Concepts, Research & Applications

Find out all about the importance of multivalency in biological and synthetic systems in this book edited by Jurriaan Huskens (University of Twente), Rainer Haag (Freie Universität Berlin), Bart Jan Ravoo (Universität Münster) and Leonard Prins.



Chemists have so far approached the understanding of biology by reducing complex events to simple reactions and interactions. However, despite decades of intense biomimetic research, it is currently still unclear which conditions are required for a mixture of chemicals to acquire the ability to grow, communicate, move, evolve... The key point is that these so-called emerging properties cannot be traced back to a single molecule, but, instead, are the product of an ensemble of molecules. Following a bottom-up approach, systems chemistry aims at understanding how properties emerge from molecular networks.


Supramolecular chemistry is rapidly moving into new territory in which the composition of a dynamic system is no longer determined by the relative thermodynamic stabilities of the components, but by the capacity of the components to populate high-energy states exploiting energy-dissipating processes. This capacity implies that such systems may store and transfer energy, which would bring us closer to implementing the marvelous properties of living systems in synthetic ones.


Molecular recognition processes and catalysis in Nature involve large and complex structures such as antibodies and enzymes. The multipoint interactions that develop between host and guest permit binding to occur with high affinity and selectivity. Also, large structures facilitate the installment of regulatory mechanisms for instance through the formation of multicomponent complexes or the contemporary binding of co-factors. Synthetic systems that match up to the size and complexity of proteins could enable such properties in a nonbiological context or, alternatively, could be integrated in biological networks.



2015 - ...          Professor in Organic Chemistry, Padova

2011 - 2015    Associate Professor, Padova

2004 - 2011    Assistant Professor, Padova

2002 - 2003    Postdoc, Licini-group, Padova

2001 - 2002    Postdoc, Dervan-group, Caltech, Pasadena, USA

2001                PhD in Chemistry (cum laude), Advisor: David Reinhoudt

                         University of Twente, Netherlands

1997                Engineer in Chemical Technology        

                         University of Twente, Netherlands

video by UniPadova (28 may 2018)

Leonard J. Prins (1974, Netherlands) is full professor of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemical Sciences at the University of Padova, Italy. He obtained his PhD-degree from the University of Twente, Netherlands with prof. David Reinhoudt in 2001. After postdoctoral research with prof. Peter Dervan at Caltech, Pasadena, USA and prof. Giulia Licini at the University of Padova, Italy he started his independent career in 2004 in Padova. He has been awarded the 2001 Backer-prize by the Royal Dutch Chemical Society and the 2009 Ciamician-medal by the Italian Chemical Society. In 2009 he was the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant. His current research interests are the application of multivalent systems for catalysis, chemical network reactivity, and chemical fuel-driven self-assembly.



MSc: Huaqiao University, China

Yingjuan's project is working on the new chemical fuels for driven self-assembly processes.


MSc: Xiamen University, China

My research project is about light-induced regulation of chemical functions of gold-nanoparticle-based systems.


PhD: Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, India

Krishnendu is a Seal-of-Excellence fellow at UNIPD working on the project DiSC: Dissipative Self-Assembly of Chemical Nanoreactors


MSc: University of Padova, Italy. 

Tommaso started his PhD in October 2020. His project deals with chemical fuel driven self-assembly. 



Giulio Ragazzon (2018)

    Researcher, University of Trieste, Italy

Flavio della Sala (2017)

    Webb-group, University of Manchester, UK

Jack Chen (2017)

    Lecturer, Auckland University of     Technology, New Zealand

Subhabrata Maiti (2017)

    Assistant Professor, IISER Mohali, India

Davide Zaramella (2014)

    Eureka, Trento, Italy

Cristian Gobbo (2014)

    Sipag Bisalta SpA, Trissino, Italy

Jealemy Galindo (2014)

    Creoptix, Zurich, Switzerland

Christian Franceschini (2014) 

    F.I.S., Vicenza, Italy

Grégory Pieters (2012)

    Researcher, CEA Saclay, Paris, France

Giulio Gasparini (2012)

    Firmenich, Geneva, Switzerland

Renato Bonomi (2011)

    ITIS 'A. Rossi', Vicenza, Italy

Patrizia Galzerano (2010)

    Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Anna Sansone (2010)

    Researcher, CNR-ISOF, Bologna, Italy


Sushmitha Chandrabhas (2020)

   Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced         Scientific Research, India

Maria Cardona (2018)   

   Senior Research Officer, Malta College

Carlos Leon Prieto (2018)

    Villapharme Research, Murcia, Spain

Simona Neri (2016)

    IRIS Technology Group, Barcelona, Spain

Cristian Pezzato (2015)

    Ambizione-grantee, EPFL, Switzerland

Sergio Garcia Martin (2015)

    Biosystems S.A., Barcelona, Spain

Alessandro Cazzolaro (2014)

    Delmachem Srl, Bassano del Grappa, Italy

Davide Zaramella (2013)

    Eureka, Trento, Italy

Matteo Graziani (2012)

    Pharmacy Sartori, Breganze, Italy

Marta Dal Molin (2012)

    DuPont, Geneva, Switzerland

Giovanni Zaupa (2009)

    NewChem Srl, Verona, Italy

Giulio Gasparini (2009)

    Firmenich, Geneva, Switzerland

Cristian Guarise (2008)

    Fidia Farmaceutici SpA, Padova, Italy


Tommaso Marchetti (2020, CTF)
Gioele Cocco (2020, Materials Science)
Nicolò Filippi (2020, CTF)
Alessandro Cavasso (2020, Chemistry)
Giacomo Michielli (2019, CTF)
Maura Troiani (2018, Chemistry)
Elisa Ceresari (2017, CTF)
Andrea Bonanni (2017, CTF)
Marco Leoni (2017, Chemistry)
Oscar Ferrari (2015, Biotech)
Michela Salvi (2013, Chemistry)
Barbara Jelenkovic (2012, CTF)
Massimiliano Martinelli (2012, Biotech)
Stefano Corrà (2012, Chemistry)
Cristian Pezzato (2011, Chemistry)
Matteo Giuliari (2011, Chemistry)
Veronica Subissati (2011, CTF)
Marta Balasso (2011, CTF)
Matteo Graziani (2011, CTF)
Alessandro Cazzolaro (2010, CTF)
Federico Bettin (2008, Biotech)
Claudia Mora (2008, Chemistry)
Andrea Levorato (2007, CTF)
Elisa Saresin (2006, CTF)
Giulio Gasparini (2005, Chemistry)
Giovanni Zaupa (2005, Chemistry)


Istruzioni esame scritto in modo telematico (Giugno- Luglio 2020)

Istruzioni (PDF)

Capitoli Brown-Foote 
Book chapters/paragraphs 5th edition

Theoria (PDF-unico)
1. presentazione corso (PDF)
2. acidi_basi (PDF)
3. nucleofilicità (PDF)
4. reagenti organometallici (PDF)
5. ossidazioni_reduzioni (PDF)
6. aromaticità (PDF)
7. areni policiclici e eterociclici (PDF)
8. addizione nucleofila al carbonile (PDF)
9. reazioni di addizione_eliminazione (PDF)
10. acidi carbossilic e derivati (PDF)
11. enols and enolate ions (PDF)
12. addizione nucleofila di enolati (PDF)
13. addizione coniugata (PDF)

Esercizi (PDF-unico)
1. esercizi - 01 (PDF)
2. esercizi - 02 (PDF)
3. esercizi - 03 (PDF)
4. esercizi - 04 (PDF)
5. esercizi - 05 (PDF)
6. esercizi - 06 (PDF)
7. esercizi - 07 (PDF)
8. esercizi - 08 (PDF)
9. esercizi - 09 (PDF)
10. esercizi - 10 (PDF)
11. esercizi - 11 (PDF)

Esempi di esame 
1. Esame - 01 (PDF)
2. Esame - 02 (PDF)


1. History of Supramolecular Chemistry (PDF)
2. Binding Constants (PDF)
3. Cooperativity (PDF)
4. Self-Assembly (PDF)

altri moduli verranno messo a disposizione dal prof. Fabrizio Mancin


I documenti sono a disposizione su Moodle.


MSCA-ITN (642793)

2014 - 2018

Multivalent Molecular Systems for Innovative Application (MULTI-APP). ITN between the Universities of Padova (coordinator), Cambridge (Hunter), Oxford (Anderson), Berlin (Haag), Eindhoven (Brunsveld), Twente (Huskens) and Ravoo (Munster).

MSCA-IF (657486)

2015 - 2017

Self-selection of a multivalent nanosystem for carbohydrate recognition (NANOCARB). Postdoctoral fellowship to Dr. Subhabrata Maiti.

University of Padova (CPDA138148)

2014 - 2016 

Innovative sensing systems based on signal amplification

MSCA-ITN (642793)

2012 - 2016

Replication and Adaptation in Molecular Networks (READ). ITN beteen the Universities of Groningen (Otto), Padova (Prins), Be'er Sheva (Ashkenasy), EPFL (Severin), Bochum (Von Kiedrowski), St. Andrews (Philp) and Strassbourg (Giuseppone e Delsuc)

ERC - StG (239898)

2009 - 2014

Dynamic Covalent Capture: Dynamic Chemistry for Biomolecular Recognition and Catalysis (DYCOCA).

Department of Chemical Sciences
University of Padova
Via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova

ORCID: 0000-0001-6664-822X
Phone: (+39) 049 8275251
Fax: (+39) 049 8275050

Thanks for filling out form!