Lise Schoonen

About myself

Lise Schoonen (Gouda, 1990) received her MSc in chemistry at the Radboud University Nijme- gen in 2013. During her master, she did a yearlong traineeship at the Synthetic Organic Chemistry group of Prof. Floris Rutjes (Radboud University Nijmegen) on the synthesis of water-soluble metal complexes bearing NHC ligands. A second internship of eight months was carried out at Enzypep BV, a spin-off company of DSM in Geleen, The Netherlands on enzymatic fragment condensations towards pharmaceutical peptides. Currently, she is working as a PhD student on self-assembled nanoreactors in the group of Prof. Jan van Hest.

Cowpea chlorotic mottle virus: towards a virus-based nanoreactor

Cellular compartments, the closed parts within the cytosol, play a crucial role in biological processes. They allow for spatial control of biomolecules and metabolic activities that go on in the cell by providing specific micro-environments. To better understand biocatalytic processes in a cellular compartment, and to use compartmentalized catalytic systems to introduce new functions to a cell, catalytic behaviour in small synthetic nanocompartments should be studied and controlled. We have utilized the unique features of the cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV) capsid for this application, because this virus capsid is robust, biocompatible and uniform in both size and shape. Furthermore, the capsid is able to undergo pH-dependent assembly and disassembly behaviour in the absence of its viral RNA, which allows for facile encapsulation of cargo molecules and proteins.

We have been working on the adjustment of the CCMV capsid to make it suitable as a nanoreactor for biological applications. For instance, methods have been developed for the stabilization of the CCMV structure, so that it can become stable in physiological environments. Furthermore, we have established a method for controlled cargo encapsulation to the interior of the CCMV capsid, using an enzymatic conjugation strategy. Lastly, several examples of CCMV-based nanoreactors have been prepared, in order to study catalytic processes in this specific nanoreactor. It was e.g. shown that the capsid provides a protective environment for catalysts and that the catalytic activity upon encapsulation is retained.


Schoonen, L.; van Hest, J. C. M. Nanoscale 2014, 6, 7124-7141.

Schoonen, L.; Pille, J.; Borrmann, A.; Nolte, R. J. M.; van Hest, J. C. M. Bioconjug. Chem. 2015, 26, 2429-2434.

Schoonen, L.; van Hest, J. C. M. Adv. Mater. 2016, 28, 1109-1128.

van Buggenum, J. A. G. L.; Gerlach, J. P.; Eising, S.; Schoonen, L.; van Eijl, R. A. P. M.; Tanis, S. E. J.; Hogeweg, M.; Hubner, N. C.; van Hest, J. C. M.; Bonger, K. M.; Mulder, K. W. Sci. Rep. 2016, 6, article number 22675.

van Eldijk, M. B.; Schoonen, L.; Cornelissen, J. J. L. M.; Nolte, R. J. M.; van Hest, J. C. M. Small 2016, 12, 2476-2483.

Schoonen, L.; Nolte, R. J. M.; van Hest, J. C. M. Nanoscale 2016, 8, 14467-14472.

Schoonen, L.; Maas, R. J. M., Nolte, R. J. M., van Hest, J. C. M. Tetrahedron 2017.

Office: Radboud University Nijmegen - Huygens Building 03.100