We use biological components and our knowledge of chemistry to design systems that can help us make chemical synthesis greener, hybrid materials that can be employed as drug delivery systems for ageing and cancer cells, and enzyme-inspired molecules to fight pathogens and pollutants in water. But we are also interested in understanding the fundamental principles of nanomaterial design and how can we take our idea from the lab to a real life application, while taking into account responsible innovation and sustainability. We are actively engaged in activities within Cambridge Global Challenges program and welcome researchers (and artists) from all over the world to join us in development of new projects.
Current challenges in sustainable manufacturing require new, greener routes of chemical synthesis. This could be achieved by redesigning enzymes, natural catalytic proteins, to make more robust and scalable catalysts, which could even be activated by light. We design such systems to perform industrially important reactions, or to use them for the removal of side products or pollutants.
Our hybrid materials combine biopolymers with inorganic nanostructures often additionally modified to introduce new functionalities. These building blocks are often biofunctionalisaed nanomaterials, which means that we need to design surface linkers suitable for nanomaterial modification and stabilization.
Nanomedicine, like conventional medicine has two aims: to diagnose the disease as accurately and early adn to deliver the most efficient treatment possible. Unlike the conventional medicine, it uses nanomaterials and nanotools to achieve these goals. Together with our collaborators we are designing drug nanocarriers for pancreatic and lung cancer, and develop diagnostic tools for early detection of cancer and senescent cell development.