From photocatalytic bio-nano hybrids to contrast agents for senescent cells
If we had to sum our research in the one sentence we would say we design bio-nano hybrid materials. We do this having a particular application in mind, which ultimately guides our design. Our interest lies in development of biocompatible materials inspired by Nature, either by mimicking what Nature does best or by exploiting biological building blocks to help us improve existing or introduce new functions.
For example, we employ flavin cofactors to design next generation of photocatalysts and exploit the properties of biopolymers to ensure uptake of drugs into solid tumours. No matter where we start, we often end up using our molecular tools for applications we have not initially anticipated. The polymers developed for catalysis might be used as contrast agents for senescent cells, and building blocks of drug nanocarriers for the enhancement of biosensors’ activity.
Such diversity of molecular and nanostructured tools, and applications can be achieved only through collaborations with other researchers and our colleagues in industry. Our collaborators include clinicians and cancer biologist, but also engineers and product developers both from small start ups and established companies.