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WCC Special Recognition granted to Professor Mauri Kostiainen

Professor Mauri Kostiainen was granted the WCC Special Recognition today 17 November.

Professor Mauri Kostiainen received his award from WCC President, Nobel Laureate Edmond H. Fischer.

Aalto University organises an Award Ceremony and an international Academic Summit 16.-20. November. At the Award Ceremony special recognitions were granted to six talented researchers who early in their careers have had international impact through their research, one of them being Professor Mauri Kostiainen, Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology. 

Professor Mauri Kostiainen harnesses viruses to create new materials

‘A specific virus is always the same size and shape and often researchers have been able to determine its exact structure using x-ray crystallography. This is a great benefit when viruses are harnessed for the needs of materials science,’ Professor Mauri Kostiainen says.

Professor Kostiainen gives some examples of how viruses can be used in materials science. A virus can be emptied out and the empty sphere can then be filled with enzymes and used as a small nanoreactor. Applications can also be found in medicine. A virus can, for instance, be used to carry nanoparticles into our body. Synthetic polymers can also be produced inside viruses.

In addition to these uses, viruses can be used to produce accurately specified nanoparticles. As viruses are always of the same size and shape, they can be used as a mould to produce particles that are also of the same size and shape.

In materials science, viruses can be used to produce crystalline materials. ‘We want to produce binary crystals that consist of two different components. In this way, several different functionalities can be included in a single crystalline material,’ Kostiainen explains.

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