An Exemplary Case of the 25-Year-Lasting German-Georgian Interdisciplinary Academic Partnership: Key Role of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

TSU, Maro-Makaschwili-Lesesaal - 16.45 -17. 10

First section of this presentation will provide brief information about the genesis and development of a unique, 25-year-lasting German-Georgian interdisciplinary academic partnership, foremost funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation by granting the Senior Fellowship to Dr. D. Khoshtariya as early as in 1992, which than grew into the research groups’ collaboration, and finally, into further joint teaching activity with the involvement of Ph.D. students and post-docs from Georgia. Dr. D. Khoshtariya and his Georgian team members also greatly benefited from other German Foundations such as the Volkswagen Foundation and DAAD. Role of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was decisive in opening for Dr. D. Khoshtariya and his team members a door for the broader international collaboration with colleagues from France, Sweden, Italy and the USA, as well. As a result, some kind of an “adaptable” international research network has been formed with a broad interdisciplinary expertise, capable of commencing and solving innovative scientific problems at the boundary of physics, chemistry and biology.

Another part of the presentation will be mainly devoted to the brief description of scientific results of long-standing bilateral research partnership with the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, represented by the renowned scientist, Professor Rudi van Eldik. In our most successful interdisciplinary collaborative studies, we compose supramolecular, quasi-2D hybrid devices consisting of: (a) conductive metallic platforms (gold disk electrodes), coated with (b) organic self-assembled, typically nanomether thick, monolayer films (SAMs), and (c) biomolecules, usually redox-active proteins or their models (mimics) immobilized and functionalized (regarding the electron transport/exchange activity) therein. The high precision fast-scan cyclic voltammetry tecnique is applied to detect the nano-ampere scale Faradaic signal due to the electron exchange event involving biomolecules or their mimics. Further variation of experimental conditions such as temperature, pressure, SAM thickness (the electron tunneling distance), and solution composition (that may heavily alter environs’ fluctuational dynamic)s allows for in-depth theory-based analysis and atomistic clarification of biomolecular mechanisms of electron transport and accompanying chemical transformations. Therefore, the abovementioned joint innovative studies are essential for a further development of both, the interdisciplinary fundamental and bionanotechnological research domains (such as: quantum and interfacial bionanoscience, nanosensorics, solar and biofuel energy conversion issues, etc), especially in Georgia (which actively struggles to become a part of the EU), and worldwide.

Representative publications:

1. D.E. Khoshtariya et al., J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., 2015, v.48, No. 513699 (11pp.).

2. T.D. Dolidze et al., J. Coord. Chem., 2015, v.68, p.3164-3180.

3. D.E. Khoshtariya et al., J. Phys. Chem. B, 2014, v.118, p.692-706.

4. D.E. Khoshtariya et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2013, v.15, p.16515-16526.

5. T. Tretyakova et al., Biophys. Chem., 2013, v.175/176, p.17-27.

6. D.E. Khoshtariya et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2010, v. 107, p.2757-2762.