Research Nano & Biophotonics

Developing a broad range of applications of new materials to biomedical sciences, the group carries out an ambitious research program covering two main domains.

Nano-Bio-materials

  • Particulate (nano- and micrometer) drug delivery carriers

    Research activities in the area of microcapsules and particles stem from earlier activities of prof. Skirtach, while he was still at Max-Planck Institute, where the polymeric capsules had been invented. The capsules are made by sequential deposition of polymers on the surface of particles, which serve as templates and which are subsequently removed (by dissolution) without affecting the polymeric shell. Different application areas of microcapsules are currently pursued, particularly noticeable are those in biomedicine. The group of prof. Skirtach pursues development of next generation of drug delivery carriers and other applications in biomedicine and bio-engineering.

  • Coatings for cell growth and tissue engineering.

    An essential novelty, which is unique to our group, is to combine research on films with that on particles for creating novel surfaces and: a) assuring drug delivery; b) controlling the release; c) enhancing and controlling mechanical properties for facilitating cell and tissue growth. Two types of coatings are investigated: those based on polymers and those based on hydrogels. Cell adhesion studies are aimed at the end goal – designing of versatile coatings for tissue engineering.

    In the area of nano-bio-materials we are also investigating the influence of nanoplasmonic effects on polymeric structures. Noble metal nanoparticles are integrated in different structures and are used for modulating polymeric and lipid membranes.

Microscopy.

There is an acute need at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and University to possess a state of the art imaging center. Two recent developments at the Faculty have important implications for this area. First, the Light Microscopy Division (LiMiD) has been setup at the Faculty coordinated by the Department of Molecular Biotechnology, to which the applicant’s group belongs. The center is focused on fluorescence microscopy techniques, more specifically fluorescent bright-field and confocal light microscopy. Together with a scanning electron microscope (SEM), these developments are directed towards establishment of a more broad image acquisition facilities at the Faculty and University-wide.

The aim is to establish, maintain, and further develop a “one-stop” imaging center, i.e. the center where characterization of all samples can be done at one location, but using different and complementary methods. Availability of such a center is desirable for any modern laboratory, Department, Faculty and University.

Raman microscopy represents a recent addition to the imaging center.

In this area we are both applying the existing microscopy methods/tools and developing novel techniques.





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