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Biomolecular Nanotechnology Lab

The Biomolecular Nanotechnology group focuses on protein engineering toward the generation of functional nanostructures and bioinspired materials for applications in nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine.

Our main objective is to develop versatile platforms based on simple protein building blocks for the fabrication of multiple protein-based hybrid functional nanostructures and biomaterials. By means of rational design we aim to generate protein assemblies with defined architectures. We use protein engineering and bioconjugation methodologies to produce molecular hybrids by combination of protein scaffolds with metals, nanoparticles, nanoclusters, and/or organic compounds. In particular, we are currently developing nanostructures and materials for applications in molecular electronics, sensing, catalysis, and photoactive systems.

Additionally, we are also interested in the biofunctionalization of nanomaterials for biomedical applications from disease treatment to diagnosis. We pay special attention to elucidate the fundamental aspects for the design of nanoformulations with optimal properties under clinically relevant conditions. At the same time, we work on the biofunctionalization of other materials such as polymeric surfaces to generate platforms with defined properties for biorecognition, anti-bactericial and bacterial-templating.

Main Research Lines: 

  • Protein engineering for functional structures and bioinspired materials
    • Protein-based photoactive and electroactive materials for bioelectronics 
    • Proteins as scaffolds for multienzymatic pathways and catalytic materials
    • Proteins to template nanomaterials 
    • Protein-nanocluster hybrids: biosensing and imaging applications
    • Designing photoactive proteins
    • Designing switchable protein-based structures 
  • Biofunctional nanomaterials and surfaces for biomedical applications 
    • Functional nanomaterials: diagnosis and therapy 
    • New iron nanomaterials as contrast agents for MRI
    • Functional polymeric materials

Additional Information. Group Website: http://personal.cicbiomagune.es/alcortajarena/index.php