© 2016

Physics at the Biomolecular Interface

Fundamentals for Molecular Targeted Therapy


Part of the Soft and Biological Matter book series (SOBIMA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Ariel Fernández
    Pages 1-46
  3. Ariel Fernández
    Pages 71-103
  4. Ariel Fernández
    Pages 105-120
  5. Ariel Fernández
    Pages 267-304
  6. Ariel Fernández
    Pages 305-321
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 427-483

About this book


This book focuses primarily on the role of interfacial forces in understanding biological phenomena at the molecular scale. By providing a suitable statistical mechanical apparatus to handle the biomolecular interface, the book becomes uniquely positioned to address core problems in molecular biophysics. It highlights the importance of interfacial tension in delineating a solution to the protein folding problem, in unravelling the physico-chemical basis of enzyme catalysis and protein associations, and in rationally designing molecular targeted therapies. Thus grounded in fundamental science, the book develops a powerful technological platform for drug discovery, while it is set to inspire scientists at any level in their careers determined to address the major challenges in molecular biophysics.

The acknowledgment of how exquisitely the structure and dynamics of proteins and their aqueous environment are related attests to the overdue recognition that biomolecular phenomena cannot be effectively understood without dealing with interfacial behaviour. There is an urge to grasp how biologically relevant behaviour is shaped by the structuring of biomolecular interfaces and how interfacial tension affects the molecular events that take place in the cell. This book squarely addresses these needs from a physicist perspective.

The book may serve as a monograph for practitioners and, alternatively, as an advanced textbook. Fruitful reading requires a background in physical chemistry and some basics in biophysics. The selected problems at the end of the chapters and the progression in conceptual difficulty make it a suitable textbook for a graduate level course or an elective course for seniors majoring in chemistry, physics, biomedical engineering or related disciplines.


Interfacial biological water Nanoscale water dielectrics Protein-water interface Solution to the protein folding problem Protein structural defects Interfacial tension in biology Rational drug design Dehydron-wrapping technologies Drug specificity filters Epistructural biology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.National Research Council (CONICET) Buenos AiresArgentina

About the authors

Ariel Fernández (born Ariel Fernández Stigliano) is an Argentine-American physical chemist and mathematician. He obtained his Ph. D. degree in Chemical Physics from Yale University in record time. He held the Karl F. Hasselmann Endowed Chair Professorship in Engineering at Rice University and was a Professor of Bioengineering until his retirement in 2012. To date, he has published over 350 scientific papers in professional journals including Physical Review Letters, PNAS, Nature, Genome Research and Genome Biology. Ariel Fernandez has also published two books: “Transformative Concepts for Drug Design” (2010) and “Biomolecular Interfaces” (2015), both with Springer, and holds two patents (US. 8,466,154 and 9,051,387) on biotechnological innovations. He is currently involved in research and entrepreneurial activities at various consultancy firms.

Bibliographic information


“It does give all of the background information developed by the author who is seeking an understanding at the molecular level of what happens at the protein-water interface. This in itself is a good reason to own the book. It is well written and the diagrams and explanations are clear for both the initiated and newcomer to the field.” (Peter J. Dobson, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 58 (4), September, 2017)