Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering & Chemistry

Bio-Organic Chemistry

We develop compartmentalization strategies to construct micro- and nano-capsules for application in nanomedicine and artificial cell research.

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Creating minuscule compartments with life-like features

In our research we combine techniques from protein engineering, polymer chemistry and bioconjugation approaches to create particles with bioactive properties. In the field of nanomedicine, we design smart delivery vehicles that for example cross the blood brain barrier or are used in cancer therapy. We also use nanoparticles as scaffolds for vaccine development. In the field of artificial cell research, we aim to create responsive smart compartments that mimic the behavior of living cells. For instance, we develop nanoreactors that can be incorporated as artificial organelles in living cells, to complement or affect cellular processes.

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Nanomedicine

To obtain the most optimal biological response in vivo, nanoparticles that are used for transport of drugs, or as scaffolds for antigen display, need to be tailor made for their specific application. With advanced synthetic techniques and assembly methods, we can construct particles with control over size, shape, surface charge and functionality. These particles are employed, in collaboration with our (international) partners, in treating brain related (metabolic) diseases, ophthalmology, cancer research and bacterial vaccine development.

Meet some of our Researchers

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Artificial cells and Organelles

The eukaryotic cell is a multicompartment structure, in which the different compartments, the organelles, enable the cell to execute in a highly controlled way delicate processes without interference with the direct environment. We construct artificial nanoreactors that can be incorporated as artificial organelles in living cells to complement or affect cellular processes.  The cell as a whole also provides a boundary with the outside world, via which the cell interacts with and responds to external stimuli. We aim to create responsive smart compartments that mimic the behavior of living cells, with respect to communicative features, motility, growth and division.

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