The Ahn Group

• Research interests of Ahngroup include nano-to-macro scale molecular and supramolecular assemblies and focus on interface engineering, especially on augmented interface of water and ice.

• The synthesis of nanomaterials that converge π-molecules with biomolecules (DNA, proteins, lipids, etc.) is investigated to specifically detect biomolecules through photoelectric properties.

• The interfaces between water and ice are engineered to control freezing and thawing in food and medical applications.

• We are studying structural and functional prediction of self-assembled artificial biomembranes and π-organic materials by using computational science.

Sensors & π-Materials Engineering
• Optical Sensors for Rapid Diagnoses & Forensics
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• π-conjugated polymers (e.g. polydiacetylenes and P3MT, etc.) that exhibit chromatic properties have attracted the great interest in biochemical applications and have been applied to detect biomolecules (e.g. aptamers, proteins, etc.) as ligands.

• In order to improve the stability of the π-organic material, the stability of the structure and function of the material could be improved by applying the nano-silica-based stabilizing layer on the surface of the material.

• Biofunctional OLED

• Incorporation of duplex DNA with higher molecular weights has attracted attention for a new opportunity towards a better organic light-emitting diode (OLED) capability.

• The specific oligomeric DNA–DNA recognition is successfully achieved by tri (8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminium (Alq3), an organic semiconductor. Alq3 rods crystallized with guidance from single-strand DNA molecules show, strikingly, a unique distribution of the DNA molecules with a shape of an ‘inverted’ hourglass.

• This research opens up new opportunities of Alq3, one of the most widely used OLED materials, enabling biological recognition.

Nanoscale Dynamics Simulation

• Nanoscale dynamics simulation has emerged as a powerful alternative method and has become an indispensable tool to complement conventional experimental methods.

• Quantum mechanics (QM) is used  to optimize geometry and predict electronic structure of molecules.

•All-atom (AA) is used to describe the detailed molecular conformations such as ionic interaction, H-bond networks, and molecular chirality.

• Coarse-grained (CG) resolution is used to explore the large-scale self-assembly phenomena such as the organization of cell membrane, clustering of proteins, and entanglement of polymers.

Anti-Freeze DNA Nanomaterials

• This research is to develop a novel anti-freeze material through DNA nanostructure manufacturing technology, whose structure function is mimicked and enhanced from natural anti-freeze protein.

• Development of platform technology for the new anti-freeze materials presents liquid phase at –20∘C or lower temperature. 

• The DNA materials will be applied to medical and food samples for evaluating recovery ratio after freeze-and-thawing, then the optimal freezing system for the long-term storage or transportation of biological samples will be developed.

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