I am interested in designing autonomous nanomachines in which the physical properties of inorganic nanoparticles are controlled by biomolecular nanotools. The autonomy of these nanodevices makes them ideal in those situations when human intervention is restricted, for example, in diagnosing diseases in remote locations or in detecting proteins inside cells. Peptides, enzymes, antibodies and metallic nanoparticles are the building blocks of choice for the design of these autonomous nanodevices.
Dr. de la Rica completed his PhD in the field of biosensors at the National Center for Microelectronics in Barcelona, Spain. Upon graduation he immediately started working at the City University of New York. It was there that he expanded his research experience in the field of bionanotechnology. He pioneered new approaches in nanolithography and bio-inspired synthesis of nanomaterials by drawing from his previous work experience with biosensors. He then moved to Holland to work at the University of Twente where he integrated concepts in supramolecular chemistry with bionanotechnology applications. While there he obtained a Marie Curie Fellowship that allowed him to fund his research independently at Imperial College London. There, he designed ultrasensitive biosensors, peptide templates for nanoparticle growth and new bio-enabled nanofabrication approaches.
In October 2013 he became a Lecturer in Bionanotechnology at the University of Strathclyde. At Strathclyde he fabricated a new generation of bioengineered supraparticles for applications in health care and biomedicine. In 2016 he was awarded a prestigious Ramón y Cajal Award that allowed him to move his lab to the University of the Balearic Islands. In 2018 he became the co-coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Sepsis Group at IdiSBa. He is currently interested in finding new technologies for detecting infections rapidly and at the point of care.