The disciplines of bionanotechnology, nanobiotechnology, and soft matter coalesce within this Research Theme. Biological systems can act as an inspiration, elegantly harnessing the special physics of the nano-world to perform ‘bottom-up’ processing with aplomb, generating smart, functional, viscoelastic matrices: from molecules to materials.
In the spirit of traditional condensed matter physics, this Objective focuses on understanding how the macroscopic properties of soft materials emerge from the chemical composition of, and the interactions between, the molecular components. We study the organisation of proteins into higher order assemblies, building on our successful manufacture of protein nanotubes (fibrils) from readily available protein.
Understanding of nanofluidics has the potential to revolutionise the way in which particle sensing and analysis, and ultimately molecular biology, is done. We seek to manipulate transport of fluid and particles in and around micro- to nano-scale devices, individual pores and porous materials. We use elastomeric tunable nanopores to study a wide range of interesting particles, many for biosensing or of biological origin.