At the LCN, various nanomechanical, electronic and optical sensors are being developed as diagnostic devices for infectious agents, including viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Biomolecular recognition and self-assembly mechanisms are exploited to create new nano-materials, biosensors and drug delivery systems. In the field of regenerative medicine, the design of bioactive scaffolds provides novel approaches to tissue engineering. Novel nano-materials also provide new ways to interface electronics with neuronal networks. Nanoscience is equally powerful as a tool to conduct basic science that aims to understand the biomolecular mechanisms that underlie disease. For example, microfluidics platforms provide new ways to study how changes in the polarisation and motility of cells can lead to cancer. Finally, the development of instruments that exploit nanotechnology, leading to enhancements of atomic force microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and X-ray imaging, permit visualisation of biological systems at molecular resolution.
Click below for a list of all LCN Researchers & Research Highlights associated with:
Figure: Hippocampal mouse neurons that have attached to nanodiamonds and through outgrowth formed a functioning neural network. [courtesy Richard Jackman]