“The Bioinspired nanotechnologies laboratory aims to deliver diagnostic solutions by pushing the boundaries of the performance of biosensors, as powerful diagnostic tools, by harnessing advances in materials science and nanotechnology driven by principles found in nature.”
Nature-inspired materials have drawn the attention of the research community to shed light into the relationship between the structural features of billions of years of nature evolution and the intertwined functions. To provide reliable detection solutions to emerging diagnostics problems, our efforts are devoted to mimic biological interfaces, a limiting frontier of disciplines such as materials science, engineering, chemistry and biology.
Our research aims to deliver diagnostic solutions to face global issues associated to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and thus slow down its emergence. From a clinical perspective, we seek to develop diagnostic tools underpinning precision medicine through an accurate diagnosis able to easily determine the need to treat with antibiotics, and if so, guide the choice of a suitable narrow-spectrum antibiotic. From an environmental perspective, our goal is to develop diagnostic tools fit-for-purpose to improve our understanding of AMR emergence and spread in the environment, and to support AMR monitoring and control.
Nanoarchitectures and their biointerface: Advances in nanofabrication to control the preparation of building blocks, built on or from porous nanostructures, assembled in hierarchical structures, with tunable wettability and surface chemistry, able to display selective bioreceptors and stimuli-responsive properties, are strongly intertwined with the material’s functions. Gathering a better understanding of the relationship between nanoarchitecture / displayed functionalities and function is a key milestone in the design of versatile sensing platforms able to suit human and animal health diagnosis at each infection stage, as well as environmental monitoring of factors contributing to the emergence and spread of AMR.
Wearable biosensing technologies based on nano- and microstructured materials. Arrays of nano- and microstructures have been shown as ideal interfaces with skin to access both sweat and interstitial fluid, and to offer a confined environment that protects the biorecognition layer. With the aim of harnessing the unique properties displayed by these arrays of nanostructures, further research is ongoing seeking simple, cost-effective and high-throughput fabrication techniques. Template synthesis of nanostructures and 3D printing meet those requirements, overcoming shortcomings of more sophisticated and convoluted approaches such as nanolithography or deep reactive ion etching.