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Nanostructured Materials as Interfaces to Biology

2006LCStemCell_250.gif IRG3 focuses on the interactions of biological systems with functional organic materials on the biologically important 1-100 nm scale. This length scale is commensurate with a range of biological assemblies (lipid assemblies, proteins, viruses, and cells) that lie between the well-studied molecular and micrometer limits, and therefore offers exciting prospects for discovery. IRG3 combines hierarchical multi-scale theory for polymeric, amphiphilic and liquid-crystalline systems with the synthesis of functional polymers and development of novel nanofabrication processes to understand and exploit interactions between nanoscale surface topography, patterned surface chemical functionality and biological assemblies. The research is fundamental and will impact a range of biotechnologies, including materials for rapid identification of viral pathogens (e.g. for biosensors), for profiling of the protein composition of cells or for control of cell behavior in vitro.

Leaders: Nicholas Abbott, Paul Bertics