NanoIR Spectroscopy Webinars

Unraveling Molecular Structure and Interactions with Single Molecule Nanochemical Imaging and Spectroscopy

Investigate the chemical and structural properties of biological, bio-organic, and biocompatible materials with Dr. Francesco Ruggeri

Nano-medicine, materials science, and biotechnology research demand a deeper understanding of (bio)-molecular systems, their interactions, and the structure-activity relationship of biomolecules.

This webinar focuses on the use of novel AFM-IR methods to study biomolecular processes and functional materials in native liquid environments and, for the first time, down to the single biomolecule scale.


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Understand the Abilities of Infrared Nanospectroscopy of Biological Systems

Join us and our special guest speaker, Dr. Francesco Simone Ruggeri (Wageningen University, Netherlands), for a talk on unraveling molecular structures and interactions with single-molecule nanochemical imaging and spectroscopy.

Dr. Ruggeri, a pioneer in this field of science, has pushed the boundaries of modern microscopy and spectroscopy to study biomolecular processes and functional materials. He has demonstrated that infrared nanospectroscopy can be used to determine the chemical fingerprint and secondary structure of biological samples and materials in native liquid environments and, for the first time, down to the single biomolecule scale. His approach has led to new insights into the formation and structural characterization of the misfolding of proteins and their correlation with the onset of neurodegenerative disorders, and, by taking inspiration from nature, the production of new, sustainable substitutes for pollution-causing plastics.


From the presenter:

The development and application of photothermal infrared absorption nanospectroscopy (AFM-IR) was a real breakthrough for the analysis of heterogeneous (bio)-molecular systems and their interactions, from the single molecule scale up to living organisms. As a major advance in the field, we have demonstrated the achievement of detecting single protein molecules by introducing off-resonance, low power and short pulse infrared nanospectroscopy (ORS-nanoIR).

By pushing the sensitivity of AFM-IR to its current limit, we have proven that the secondary structure of single protein molecules can be determined with an accuracy similar to that obtained in bulk by IR spectroscopy (Nature Comm., 2020). Our approach further enables investigation of:

  • The secondary structure (Advanced Science, 2021) and molecular interaction fingerprint of the amyloid species involved in the onset of neurodegenerative disorders (Nature Comm., 2021).
  • The interaction of these supramolecular assemblies with an organic FDA approved drug capable of preventing the disease in animal models of neurodegeneration.
  • The properties of organic and bio-organic functional materials
  • The chemical heterogeneity of artificial model membranes (Advance Functional Materials, 2021) and perovskites (Science, 2021).
  • The structure of the functional protein assemblies that occur functionally in nature (Small Methods, 2021) and that are promising candidates for the development of a novel class of biocompatible and sustainable biomaterials (Nature Nanotechnology, 2020).


This talk will also cover our goal to expand the capabilities of nanoscale vibrational spectroscopy to shed light on the structure-activity relationship of biomolecules for applications in nano-medicine, materials science and biotechnology.


Find out more about the technology featured in this webinar or our other solutions for the single-molecule investigation of biomaterials:


Dr. Francesco Simone Ruggeri, Wageningen University

Dr. Francesco Simone Ruggeri joined the chair groups of Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry of Wageningen University as Assistant Professor in 2020. Before this, he completed his independent Junior Research Fellowship at the Darwin College and post-doctoral research at the Department of Chemistry & Centre for Misfolding disease at the University of Cambridge, UK. He holds a Ph.D. in biophysics obtained in 2015 at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, where he acquired a strong expertise in scanning probe microscopy and single molecule methods.