We assemble nanomaterials and biomolecules into supraparticles that have new functions derived from their 3D structure. These include gold supraparticles with improved plasmonic properties for bioimaging and cancer therapy, enzyme-nanomaterial assemblies for tumor-selective drug delivery, and protein-gold supraparticles for biosensing.
We are exploring new ways to assemble gold nanoparticles in order to tailor their plasmonic properties for nanomedicine applications. We have developed a method for obtaining gold supraparticles with crystallographically aligned nano-building blocks as platforms for enhanced SERS spectroscopy and photothermal therapy. We are also developing a new type of supraparticle called “gold suprashell” that can be assembled around different cores in order to fabricate multifunctional nanoparticles for nanomedicine.
We have an interest in the fabrication of enzyme-actuated nanodevices that activate in the tumor microenvironment. These nanomaterials only target tumors after detecting cancer signals, and therefore could be used to deliver drugs into cancerous tissue with high specificity.
We are developing several self-diagnostic tools based on protein-gold supraparticles that will allow health screening in the comfort of your own home. In these approaches, the supraparticles generate vivid colored signals depending on the levels of a disease marker, which can be easily detected with the naked eye and recorded with a conventional mobile phone. With these bioengineered nanosensors it will be possible for people to follow their health status and share it with healthcare professionals continuously and inexpensively, which are key requirements of future health care approaches such as personalized medicine and telemedicine.
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