Engineered nanomaterials play an increasingly important role as biomedical therapeutics and nanomedicine. Yet, in spite of significant advances, it remains difficult to construct drug-loaded nanomaterials with precisely defined therapeutic effects, in terms of release time and spatial targeting. Upon injection in the blood stream or following oral administration, nanomaterials have to bypass numerous barriers prior to reaching their intended target. In particular, a successful design strategy can be to mask the nanomaterials to the biological environment by covering it with an outer surface mimicking the composition and functionality of the cell's external membrane.
At Biointel Research Group, we are developing such advanced, biomimetic, surface-functionalized and nanobiohybrids which will be able to deliver therapeutics, such as drugs and genes, to the target site efficiently with no inflammatory responses. This also includes surface modification of nanomaterials such as graphene nanosheets, nanotubes, polymeric nanoparticles and viral vectors for efficient gene delivery. In addition, the laboratory is using microfluidic technology to (i) optimize the nanomaterial based drug delivery and also (ii) to understand the cell behavior and its altered molecular pathway once exposed to different nanomaterials.