Surface nanomechanics of biomolecules and supramolecular systems is an interdisciplinary and vital area of current research, with implications/applications spanning from synthetic biology to regenerative medicine, from smart surfaces to molecular machines. Biomolecule surface transformations and nanomachinery arise upon “wiring” them onto surfaces and interfaces. Surface confinement of biomolecules is a common feature of biological systems (e.g., cell membranes) and often a mandatory step for translating their properties into real‐world applications (e.g., biosensors). On surfaces biomolecules undergo peculiar transformations and interactions which they do not experience in solution. Such unedited effects open challenges in synthetic systems, for example, by altering or hindering the designed/expected property, but also disclose a wealth of opportunities and surprises. Based on our latest research, this chapter will bring fresh excerpts from the field. It will start with an accessible description of thermodynamics of surface nanomechanics of biomolecules and supramolecular systems and then will show how it can be implemented to gain understanding of grow factor cell signaling, to single out small ligands able to inhibit protein misfolding, to measure energetics of surface confined ferritin during iron loading, and to realize a universal probe for ammine‐based designer drugs.
Part of the book: Nanomechanics
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell dyscrasia characterized by a clonal plasma cell proliferation. Usually, all MM are preceded by an asymptomatic premalignant stage termed monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Differential diagnosis requires the evidence of end-organ damage, but recently new biomarkers are emerging to help clinicians to distinguish MM from the premalignant phase. Circulating exosomes in serum seem to be a powerful tool to be analyzed for liquid biopsy, and in this chapter, we show that MM and MGUS exosomes are different in concentration, biological activity, and biochemical markers. These differences seem to be related to the free light chains (FLCs) associated with exosomes and their propathogenic properties. The cellular processing FLC-decorated exosomes and their ability to activate proinflammatory mechanisms are different in MM and MGUS patients. These elements can be evaluated to create an innovative multiparameter panel to monitor MGUS to MM switching.