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Ice-binding proteins: from antifreeze mechanism to resistant soft materials

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PRISM project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PRISM project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PRISM" about.

crystalline    tackle    resistant    unravel    assembly    explore    mechanism    interfaces    colligative    depression    guide    freezing    solution    progress    experiments    ice    encoding    covalent    coatings    molecular    visualize    nascent    single    hardiness    interaction    strength    coping    supercooling    gap    first    crop    extreme    lethal    polymers    molecule    superior    profound    synthetic    organisms    cryopreservation    proteins    soft    efficient    promise    tolerant    block    biomedicine    hysteresis    antifreeze    crystals    preparation    templating    foreign    agents    polar    record    routes    dispersion    sensitive    powerful    agrifood    avenues    narrow    plays    crystallization    fish    fundamental    living    bound    point    environments    seas    thermal    affinity    water    macromolecular    survival    detrimental    adsorption    unusual    binding    insights    decisive    strategies    stability    antifreezes    science    temperature    strategy    materials    holds    freeze   

Project "PRISM" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: GROENE LOPER 3
postcode: 5612 AE

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙661˙605 €
 EC max contribution 1˙661˙605 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-05-01   to  2020-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Crystallization of water into ice is lethal to most organisms and detrimental to many soft materials. Freeze-tolerant fish living in polar seas evolved to tackle this problem with an unusual coping strategy. They produce ‘antifreeze’ proteins that block the growth of nascent ice crystals within a narrow temperature range known as the ‘thermal hysteresis gap’ enabling survival under extreme conditions. Encoding this functionality into synthetic polymers would open up new avenues in biomedicine, agrifood and materials science for e.g. cryopreservation, crop hardiness, ice-templating, dispersion stability, and advanced coatings. Progress requires a profound understanding of the mechanism of non-colligative freezing point depression at the molecular level and allows for efficient strategies for the design and preparation of powerful macromolecular antifreezes.

I propose to unravel how antifreeze proteins work and to build upon these insights to explore effective routes towards ice-binding polymers aiming to make sensitive soft materials freeze-resistant. Within this challenge we first focus on single-molecule experiments to visualize bound proteins and study the strength of the non-covalent interaction with ice. We will study if and when adsorption on ‘foreign’ interfaces and solution assembly impact activity. These fundamental insights will guide our research towards synthetic antifreeze agents with superior functionality to achieve record supercooling in complex environments. This knowledge-based design of polymers with high affinity for crystalline interfaces holds great promise for many areas of science and technology in which crystallization plays a decisive role.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Christian C. M. Sproncken, Romà Surís-Valls, Hande E. Cingil, Christophe Detrembleur, Ilja K. Voets
Complex Coacervate Core Micelles Containing Poly(vinyl alcohol) Inhibit Ice Recrystallization
published pages: 1700814, ISSN: 1022-1336, DOI: 10.1002/marc.201700814
Macromolecular Rapid Communications 39/17 2020-04-22
2017 Anneloes S. Oude Vrielink, Tyler D. R. Vance, Arthur M. de Jong, Peter L. Davies, Ilja K. Voets
Unusually high mechanical stability of bacterial adhesin extender domains having calcium clamps
published pages: e0174682, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174682
PLOS ONE 12/4 2020-04-22
2018 Z. Faidon Brotzakis, Ilja K. Voets, Huib J. Bakker, Peter G. Bolhuis
Water structure and dynamics in the hydration layer of a type III anti-freeze protein
published pages: 6996-7006, ISSN: 1463-9076, DOI: 10.1039/c8cp00170g
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 20/10 2020-04-22
2017 Qing Ke, Yong-Yeol Ahn, Cassidy R. Sugimoto
A systematic identification and analysis of scientists on Twitter
published pages: e0175368, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175368
PLOS ONE 12/4 2020-04-22
2017 I. K. Voets
From ice-binding proteins to bio-inspired antifreeze materials
published pages: 4808-4823, ISSN: 1744-683X, DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02867E
Soft Matter 13/28 2020-04-22
2016 Anneloes S. Oude Vrielink, Antonio Aloi, Luuk L. C. Olijve, Ilja K. Voets
Interaction of ice binding proteins with ice, water and ions
published pages: 18906, ISSN: 1559-4106, DOI: 10.1116/1.4939462
Biointerphases 11/1 2020-04-22
2017 Z. Faidon Brotzakis, Mascha Gehre, Ilja K. Voets, Peter G. Bolhuis
Stability and growth mechanism of self-assembling putative antifreeze cyclic peptides
published pages: 19032-19042, ISSN: 1463-9076, DOI: 10.1039/C7CP02465G
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 19/29 2020-04-22
2016 Luuk L. C. Olijve, Konrad Meister, Arthur L. DeVries, John G. Duman, Shuaiqi Guo, Huib J. Bakker, Ilja K. Voets
Blocking rapid ice crystal growth through nonbasal plane adsorption of antifreeze proteins
published pages: 3740-3745, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1524109113
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113/14 2020-04-22
2017 Shuaiqi Guo, Corey A. Stevens, Tyler D. R. Vance, Luuk L. C. Olijve, Laurie A. Graham, Robert L. Campbell, Saeed R. Yazdi, Carlos Escobedo, Maya Bar-Dolev, Victor Yashunsky, Ido Braslavsky, David N. Langelaan, Steven P. Smith, John S. Allingham, Ilja K. Voets, Peter L. Davies
Structure of a 1.5-MDa adhesin that binds its Antarctic bacterium to diatoms and ice
published pages: e1701440, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701440
Science Advances 3/8 2020-04-22
2016 Luuk L. C. Olijve, Anneloes S. Oude Vrielink, Ilja K. Voets
A Simple and Quantitative Method to Evaluate Ice Recrystallization Kinetics Using the Circle Hough Transform Algorithm
published pages: 4190-4195, ISSN: 1528-7483, DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.5b01637
Crystal Growth & Design 16/8 2020-04-22
2016 Luuk L. C. Olijve, Marco M. R. M. Hendrix, Ilja K. Voets
Influence of Polymer Chain Architecture of Poly(vinyl alcohol) on the Inhibition of Ice Recrystallization
published pages: 951-958, ISSN: 1022-1352, DOI: 10.1002/macp.201500497
Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 217/8 2020-04-22
2016 Antonio Aloi, Clément Guibert, Luuk L.C. Olijve, Ilja K. Voets
Morphological evolution of complex coacervate core micelles revealed by iPAINT microscopy
published pages: 450-455, ISSN: 0032-3861, DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2016.08.002
Polymer 107 2020-04-22

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