PROJECT 00-243




Polymeric nanomaterials: conventional and intelligent gels involving physical networks of polyelectrolyte polysaccharides and their interactions with surfactants, proteins and organic molecules




July 1, 2001 June 30, 2004




Co-ordinator -  Dr. M. Koch





The main objective of the project is to undertake a systematic study of the compositional and phase behavior and of the emerging nanostructures in aqueous solutions of polysaccharides and of their complexes with physiologically active compounds.


The objectives of the project are:

1)    To prepare supermolecular complexes with nanoscale-organized structures based on polyelectrolyte polysaccharides in the presence of surfactants, proteins and organic substances (e.g. aminoacids).

2)    To determine the conformational and phase behaviour of solutions and gels of polyelectrolyte polysaccharides and their complexes.

3)    To characterise the nanostructures formed in these systems and their transitions by physicochemical techniques and, in particular, static and dynamic light, X-ray and neutron scattering and acoustic measurements.

4)    To develop (i) theoretical concepts and models for the understanding of network-surfactant and network-protein interactions (ii) methods for the interpretation and modelling of X-ray and neutron scattering data from these systems.


Different experimental techniques (small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering, static and dynamic light scattering, fluorescence spectroscopy etc.) will be used. The experimental studies will be supported by theoretical investigations.










Five research teams (two from INTAS

Members, one from Ukraine and two from Russia) with complementary expertise will be involved in the project.




Michel Koch


European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL),

Hamburg Outstation c/o DESY,

Hamburg, Germany



Harry Reynaers

Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven),




T. Hushcha

Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and

Petrochemistry of the National Academy

of Sciences of Ukraine (IBPC)



Alexei Khokhlov

Chair of Polymer and Crystal Physics

Physics Department

Moscow State University

Vorobyovy Gory, 117234 Moscow




Dmitri Svergun

Institute of Crystallography,

Russian Academy of Sciences,

Moscow, RUSSIA