Candan Tamerler

  • Research Professor
  • Department of Materials Science & Engineering
    Genetically Engineered Materials Science & Engineering Center (GEMSEC)
Office: 256 Wilcox
Phone: (206) 616-6980

Web Sites


PhD 1997 Bogazici University, Istanbul-Turkey
MSc 1991 Bogazici University, Istanbul-Turkey

Research Summary

1) Genetic Selection and Evolutionary Engineering of Materials Binding Peptides
In Nature, proteins are the machinery of life conducting various functions through their unique recognition, self assembly and templating properties. Their effect can be observed in material synthesis, controlling the nucleation, growth and assembly of a variety of biological soft and hard tissues. In addition to their role in mineralization, proteins perform a wide spectrum of additional functions ranging from catalysis to cell signaling. Many proteins are capable of self- and co-assembly and bind to many different molecules such as nucleic acids with remarkable molecular specificity. All these properties are evolved over many generations and mutations for its either improved or added functionality. Biological systems, therefore, provide an inspiration for realizing molecular and nanotechnological materials and systems. My interest in molecular biomimetics is genetic selection of material-specific peptides and their utilization as synthesizers, assemblers, and scaffolds;


In vivo selection of peptides for inorganics using phage display and cell surface display: We adapted combinatorial biology approaches based on phage and cell-surface display and selected 2,000 materials-specific peptides, including those for metals (Au, Ag, Pt), oxides (silica, alumina, titania), semiconductors (AlN), and minerals (HA, mica, graphite, sapphire), among others;


Molecular Recognition and Binding of Peptides: Materials specificity of the selected peptides are characterized using a variety of techniques, including fluorescence microscopy, surface plasmon resonance, quartz crystal microbalance, and AFM. The information includes binding kinetics and thermodynamics, molecular conformation and assembly;


Evolutionary Engineering of Peptides: In Nature, cycles of generations and mutations may lead to an improved progeny. Using the similar approaches collaborative with bioinformatics, we search for peptide similarities and compare them with naturally existing ones and develop new design strategies, including introduction, of functional domains, or insertion of spacers for improved functions.


2) Engineered Polypeptides for Technology and Medicine
Using the molecular biomimetics approaches, we utilize engineered peptides for biofabrication, designing biocompatible surfaces or for developing novel detection and probing systems, all relevant in bionanotechnology, and nanomedicine:


Biofabrication: To realize materials fabrication under ambient conditions, we use engineered inorganic-specific peptides for synthesizing inorganic materials with desired size and shape using molecular recognition, synthesis and templating effects (e.g., hydroxyapatite, silver and gold);


Biocompatibility and Cell Differentiation: Our focus here is to use engineered peptides as molecular films and scaffolds in developing biocompatible materials and provide matrices for cell differentiation. For this we carry out cell culture studies for cytotoxicity, cell adhesion and proliferation and follow effects on gene expression, using several cell lines, such as cementoblasts or osteoblasts;


Self Oriented Immobilization of enzymes: Immobilization methods have so far been based on nonspecific interactions of enzymes with surfaces resulting in reduced or loss of activity. Here our approach is to direct controlled immobilization of enzymes (e.g., AP) using inorganic-binding peptides on desired patterned substrates with retained and improved catalytic activity;


Engineered Peptides for detection and probing: We recently started to work on developing molecular platforms for diagnosis (cancer probing and colorimetric detection) based on biophotonics and biomagnetics approaches.


3) Materials in Hard Tissue Restoration and Regeneration:
My recent projects focus on hard tissue restoration and regeneration using different scaffolds. I have involved in dental implant restoration and regenerative approaches to control the bio/nano interface as well as bone tissue engineering using polymeric/hybrid scaffolds:


Dental Restoration & Regeneration: We use engineered inorganic binding peptide based surface functionalization and mineralization on the various dental implant surfaces. Our studies involves promoting implant tissue integration as well as controlling antimicrobial activity;


Bone Tissue Engineering: We use different biodegradable polymeric scaffolds such as poly-N-vinyl-2-pyrolidone-co-maleic acid cross linked with hydroxyapatite. Initial animal studies performed on rat femurs demonstrated tissue adaptation, and connective tissue formation in tibia bone was observed.


4) Recombinant Proteins:
Expertise covers a range of recombinant DNA technology applications on modification of microorganisms for protein production using bacterial (E. coli, and Bacillus) and yeast cells (Sacccharomyces, Pichia and Candida).  Designed and worked with various cloning and overexpression vectors:


Preparation of cDNA libraries for expression of industrial enzymes: We prepare cDNA libraries of multicupper oxidases and mangan peroxidase from newly isolated strains and express the high homology constructs in yeast cells;


Cloning and expression recombinant enzymes and fusion proteins: We have cloned and expressed various enzymes including laccases, GFP, DsRed, MBP, AP with insertion of inorganic binding peptides for various application from energy to monitoring.


Recent Publications

  • .E. Oren, R. Notman, I.W. Kim, J.S. Evans, T.R. Walsh, R. Samudrala, C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya, Probing Molecular Solid binding Mechanism of Peptides, Langmuir, in print (2010).
  • M. Kahraman, K. Yesiladali, E. Bicakci, N.G .Karaguler, C. Tamerler, Optimum Expression and Production of cmFDH gene in E. Coli, Biochemical Engineering Journal in print (2010).
  • E. Yuca, A. Karatas, U. Seker, G. Doganay, M. Gungormus, M. Sarikaya, C. Tamerler, “Monitoring Biomineral Layers on Tooth Through Green Fluorescence Protein Genetically Fused with Hydroxyapatite Binding Peptide”, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, in print (2010).
  • D. Khatayevich, M. Gungormus, C. So, S. Cetinel, H. Ma, A. Jen, C. Tamerler and M. Sarikaya, “Bio-functionalization of Materials for Implants Using Engineered Peptides”, ACTA BioMater, in print (2010).
  • K. Leong, Y. Chen, D. J. Masiello, M. T. Zin, M. Hnilova, H. Ma, C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya, D. S. Ginger, and A. K.-Y. Jen, “Cooperative Near-field Surface Plasmon Enhanced Quantum Dot Nanoarrays”, Adv. Funct. Mater. in print (2010)
  • C. Tamerler, D. Khateyevich, M. Gungormus, T. Kacar, E.E. Oren, M. Hnilova, M. Sarikaya, Molecular Biomimetics: GEPI Based Biological Routes to Nanotechnologies. Biopolymer Peptide Science, 94 78-94 (2010)
  • E.Ucisik-Akkaya, E. Onur, K. Yesiladali, T. Ozturk, E. Ubay-Cokgor, D. Orhon, C. Tamerler, Z.P. Cakar, “ Enhanced Polyhydroxyalkanoate production by Paracoccus pantotropus”, Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 18 (11), 2013-2022 (2009)
  • T. Kacar, M. T. Zin, C. So, B. Wilson, H. Ma, N. Gul-Karaguler, A. K-Y. Jen, M. Sarikaya and Candan Tamerler, “Directed Self-Immobilization of Alkaline Phosphatase on Micro-patterned Substrates via Genetically-Fused Metal-Binding Peptide”, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, 103, 696-705 (2009).
  • M. Hnilova, C. So, T. Kacar, E. E. Oren, R. Mehta, B. A. Parviz, C. Tamerler and M. Sarikaya. “Co-assembly of quantum dots and flurophores on patterned substrates using materials-specific peptides” Nano Letters, 2009 in print.
  • C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya, “Genetically Designed Peptide-Based Molecular Materials”, ACS NANO, 3(7), 1606-1615, (2009).
  • Z.P. Cakar, C. Alkim, B. Turanli, N. Tokman, S. Akman, M. Sarikaya, C. Tamerler, L. Benbadis, JM. Francois, "Isolation of cobalt hyper resistant mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae by in vivo evolutionary engineering approach," Journal of Biotechnology, 143(2):130-8, 2009.
  • C. Tamerler and M. Sarikaya, "Molecular Biomimetics: Nanotechnology and Molecular Medicine Utilizing Genetically Engineered Peptides", Philosphical Transactions-A, 367 1705-1726, 2009.
  • U.Ö. Ş. Şeker, B. Wilson, D. Sahin, C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya. Quantitative Affinity of Genetically Engineered Repeating Polypeptides to Inorganic Solids, Biomacromolecules, 10 250-257, 2009.
  • T. Kacar, J. Ray, M. Gungormus, E. E. Oren, C. Tamerler and M. Sarikaya, "Quartz Binding Peptides as Molecular Linkers towards Fabricating Multifunctional Micropetterned Substrates", Advanced Materials, 21 295-299, 2009.
  • C. R. So., C. Tamerler, and M. Sarikaya, "Adsorption, Diffusion, and Self-Assembly of an Engineered Gold Binding peptide on Au(111) by atomic Force Microscopy", Angew Chem. Intl. Ed., 48 5174-5177, 2009
  • C. R. So, J. L. Kulp, E. E. Oren, H. Zareie, C. Tamerler, J. S. Evans and M. Sarikaya, “Molecular Recognition and Supramolecular Self-Assembly of a Genetically Engineered Gold Binding Peptide on Au{111}”, ACS NANO, 3 1525-1531, 2009
  • U.O.S. Seker, T. Catal, Y. Taptik, C. Tamerler, H. Bermek, Enhanced Production of manganese-peroxidase by the white rot fungus Bjerkandera adusta using media engineering, Biotechnology and Biotechnological equipment, 22(3), 844-848, 2008.
  • J. H. Wei, T. Kacar, C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya, and D. S. Ginger, “Nanopatterning peptides as Bi-functional Inks for Templated assembly”, SMALL, 5 689-693, 2009.
  • S. Donatan, H. Yazici, H. Bermek, M. Sarikaya, C. Tamerler, M. Urgen, ” A novel physical based leution method approach for the selection for the selection of mica-binding peptides via phage display” Materials Science and Eng. C.: Biomimetic and Supramolecular Systems, 29, 14-19, 2009.
  • M. Hnilova, E.E.Oren, U.O.S. Seker, B. Wilson, S. Collino, J.S. Evans, C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya. Effect of Conformations on the Adsorption Behavior of Gold-Binding Peptides, Langmuir, 24 (21) 12440-12445, 2008.
  • S. Dincer, C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya, E. Piskin, Photoresponsive peptide-azobenzene conjugates that specifically interact with platinum surfaces, Surface Science, 602 (10), 1752-1762, 2008
  • C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya, “Molecular Biomimetics: Materials Synthesis, Assembly and Formation Using Peptides”, Guest Editors on MRS Bulletin, 33 (5), 504-510, 2008
  • J.S.Evans, R.Samudrala, T.R. Walsh, E.E. Oren, C. Tamerler, “Molecular Design of Inorganic-Polypeptides”, MRS Bulletin, , 33 (5), 514-518, 2008
  • E. Arslan, M.C. Igdil, H. Yazici, C. Tamerler, H. Bermek, L. Trabzon, Journal of Materials Science-Materials in Medicine, 19(5), 2079-2086, 2008
  • M. Gungormus, H. Fong, I. W. Kim, J. S. Evans, C. Tamerler, M. Sarikaya “Regulation of In Vitro Calcium Phosphate Mineralization by Combinatorially Selected Hydroxyapatite-Binding Peptides”, Biomacromolecules, 9(3), 966-973, 2008

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