Light-soft matter interaction is at the heart of many fields in science and technology. To fully understand photoactivated processes in multi-chromophore soft materials, a substantial innovation of existing methodologies is needed. LightDyNAmics uses DNA photoactivated dynamics as a training platform for developing new methods and training researchers. The interaction between UV light and DNA has a fundamental biological relevance as it can damage the genetic code. As DNA is the archetype of soft materials used in biomedical and optoelectronic applications, it allows us to use it as a challenging playground for exploring the main processes triggered by light in complex soft materials.
Light interaction with biomaterials is the driving mechanism of fundamental biological processes and is a powerful tool in biomedicine for analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
The main goal of LightDyNAmics is to achieve a complete understanding of the ultrafast dynamical processes at the molecular scale induced by UV light absorption in DNA, and to unveil the mechanisms leading to photodamage of the genetic code. At the same time, the project will transfer this knowledge to a broad class of optoelectronic materials, highly relevant for Europe`s high-tech industries.
LightDyNAmics is an academia-industry research environment training 15 Early Stage Researchers by crossing the border between theoretical and experimental expertise. This will be achieved by performing independent, yet interrelated and complementary research projects focussed on photoactivated dynamics of DNA, and by developing a variety of new spectroscopic and computational methods.
The consortium brings together 10 leading academic groups with multidisciplinary expertise and a unique blend of experimental and computational skills. Six innovative companies, from specialised SMEs to a leading pharmaceutical company, will be integrated in the research and training programme and help promote technological exploitation of its results.
LightDyNAmics will develop innovative molecular probes for DNA/protein interaction, paving the way to new diagnostic tools and new drugs. The light interaction with organic molecules will impact on basic sciences, from biochemistry to nanosciences, and on industrial applications ranging from healthcare to photonic technologies.