Biophysical Reviews

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 279–281 | Cite as

Overview of the “Ionic Liquids meet Biomolecules” session at the 19th international IUPAB and 11th EBSA congress

  • Antonio BenedettoEmail author
  • Hans-Joachim Galla
Letter to the Editor

Room temperature ionic liquids (ILs) (Welton 1999) are a vast class of ionic systems consisting of an organic cation and either an organic or inorganic anion, whose melting temperature falls below the conventional limit of 100 °C, making these compounds liquid at or near room temperature. The thermal and chemical stability of these systems make them the basis of what is called “green chemistry” (Earle and Seddon 2000). Several biochemical studies, however, have highlighted their potential toxicity to organisms, a toxicity which, in turn, is also a measure of their affinity for bio-molecules. This property has stimulated several chemical–physical studies on the interaction between ILs and basic biological systems. In recent decades, it has been observed that selected ILs are able: (1) to kill bacteria and cancer cells while leaving eukaryotic healthy cells almost unaffected; (2) to extract, purify and even preserve DNA at ambient temperature; (3) to stabilize proteins and enzymes; (4)...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Antonio Benedetto and Hans-Joachim Galla declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity College Dublin (UCD)Dublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Laboratory for Neutron Scattering, Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI)VilligenSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute of BiochemistryUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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