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I6.04 - A Hemoglobin for CO2: Designing Small Molecules to Bind Carbon Dioxide via Chelate Cooperativity 
April 24, 2014   9:45am - 10:00am

Hemoglobin is used to transport oxygen efficiently, capturing oxygen in the lungs where the partial pressure is high and releasing it in the tissues where the partial pressure is low. Key to hemoglobin's efficiency is its ability to bind oxygen cooperatively, such that binding at one site affects the binding affinity of all remaining sites. Inspired by hemoglobin, we set out to design a small molecule system that would also exhibit cooperative binding, but bind carbon dioxide rather than oxygen. The system relies on chelate cooperativity, in which the first binding event lowers the entropic cost of subsequent binding events. We present design principles for how to achieve such a system and ongoing efforts to synthesize a system capable of practical CO2 transport.

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