Group-leader: Munish Chanana
The road between the nanoworld and the bioworld is a two-way road. Going one or the other way, one can address the demands and problems of various fundamental and applied scientific fields, such as biomedicine, material- and enviromental sciences.
The incorporation of functional nanoparticles (e.g. magnetic, plasmonic or fluorescent NPs) in biomaterials yields nano-bio hybrid materials that exhibit novel properties taht go beyond the natural ones. For example, the incorporation/assembly of the superparamagnetic magnetite nanoparticles in anisotropic and hiearchical structure of wood materials, yields a magnetic wood material, with a magnetic anisotropy dictated by the wood structure. By the incorporation of inflammable and non-hazardous minerls such as calcium carbonate in the wood structure fire-retarding wood materials are obtained.
On the other hand, the decoration of biomolucules and biopolymers onto nanoparticles, yields biocompatible and colloidally stable nanosystems with a defined bio-interface. Polypeptides and proteins enhance the physico-chemical and colloidal properties of nanoparticles (e.g. plasmonic metal nanospheres and nanorods), making them highly suitable for biomedical applications. such systems can be further assemble to 2D and 3D super-structures, providing a versatile platform for plasmonic sensors and SERS-enhancing structures.
Using the diversity offered by both biomaterials (incl. biomolecules, biopolymers) and nanomaterials (organic and inorganic) and their inter-combinations, we aim to create a stronger bridge between the two worlds.