Engineered bionanostructures have great
potential in drug delivery systems, nanoelectronics, liquid crystals and
biosensors. Virus particles
(VPs) are promising bionanomaterials in the aforementioned applications and
have so far been used for drug delivery as nanocarrier platforms, nanoreactors,
probes for imaging and sensing platforms.
Applications of VPs depend on the addition of
new functionalities via genetic or synthetic modifications adding properties
such as responsiveness, capacity of loading cargoes and decrease
We use amongst others Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) and Potato Virus X (PVX) to investigate alternative modification routes, ways to achieve new viral structural morphologies and use these in biomedical applications such as gene delivery and other therapeutic approaches.
Enzymatic route towards Virus-Polymer hybrid nanoparticles
The creation of novel virus morphologies using genetically modified virus particles with biomineralization capabilities.
Advancing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine requires accurate prediction of and a high degree control over stem cell behavior also because of the deviating behavior depending on the origin of the stem cell (different patients). Such control depends greatly on the chemical, physical, topological and mechanical properties of the biomaterial scaffold on which the cells are grown. It is not precisely known how combined effects influence stem cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation because such types of surfaces are unavailable despite that this knowledge would advance stem cell therapies considerably.
General approaches for determining stem cell differentiation often use only one parameter. Sometimes a gradient is used but this still only targets one property, while biomaterials have at least two or more of such properties. We design orthogonal double gradients to study combined influences of parameters, such an approach will provide a broader view and deeper insight of cellular behavior at complex biointerfaces.
Gradients are convenient approaches to determine in a single screening, the optimal surface parameters for the desired cellular response.
Polymeric nanogels, so called microgels, can be considered as particles consisting of a confined cross-linked polymeric
network, which due to the high porosity is still in good contact with the
surrounding bulk medium. Their versatile properties, in addition to
high porosity they are able to undergo reversible volume transitions in
response to external stimuli, which is finely tunable by variations in polymer
composition. The facile synthesis and functionalization along with good
colloidal stability, control over the particle size as well as the possibility
for biodegradability explain the wide application range of these soft matter
substances, such as drug(gene)delivery, catalysis and cosmetics. The
unique properties of nano(micro)gels to undergo large swelling-deswelling
transitions is advantageous for incorporation and subsequent release of small
molecules, which is exploited for drug delivery purposes.
We investigate the use of polymer microgels as contract agents, active scavengers and macroscopic colloidal gel-like structures for biomedical applications
Polymer microgels can store proteins, small molecular species and inorganic components and depending on the polymer composition can even act as a reactive soft colloidal nanoparticle.