I have put together a truly interdisciplinary collection of research activities where we address biological challenges (often associated with a specific clinical need) using a constructionist approach. I have christened this approach Molecular Bionics and I mimic biological complexity in the form of design principles to produce functional units from simple building blocks and their interactions. This can be summarised into four overlapping areas:
We are engaged in several activities involving the synthesis and characterisation of novel hierarchal materials whose properties are the result of the holistic combination of its components. We combine synthetic and supramolecular chemistry to control self-assembly processes to form dynamic soft materials whose molecular, supramolecular and mesoscale structures are tuned and fit for the final application .
We have developed and established new methodologies to study living systems and how synthetic materials interact with them combining holistically physical and life sciences. We have an active microscopy program where we both develop new imaging probes as well as novel ways to push the limit of both electron and optical microscopy.
We engineer study models that can help to shed light on biological organisation and complexity by fine-tuning the different building blocks. We apply these to investigate biological organisation and complexity creating synthetic surrogates that act as models as well as to engineer novel sophisticated ways to interact with living organisms
We take inspiration from viruses, trafficking vesicles and exosomes to apply molecular engineering to create nanoscopic carriers that can navigate the human body with the final aim to improve drug delivery and/or create new diagnostic tools. We often focus this to specific clinical needs and we have an active program of research in Oncology, Neurology and Infection.
Key wordsNanomedicine, drug delivery, polymersomes, block copolymer, biomaterials, physical biology, endocytosis, targeting, active matter, polymer synthesis