Research

The BioNanoInfo Group’s research directions emerge from two mega trends: the advances in Nanofabrication, which are the results of the relentless progress in semiconductor manufacturing as dictated by Moore’s Law; and the engineer-isation of Biology and Medicine. The synergy between these two trends resulted in three major Research Streams, each using both experimental and computational methodologies: one focused on the application of the Engineering principles and methodology to Biology and Medicine (“Further Moore”); one focused on the application of semiconductor technologies and devices to Biology and Medicine (“No Moore”); and one focused on micro/nano-fabrication (“More Moore”). 

“Further Moore”: The Engineering of Biology – at the micro, nano and info-level. We apply engineering methodology, in particular mathematically-informed modelling and design, to understand biomolecular and cellular processes, and thus making them more predictable. This forward understanding of biological processes also opens the possibility of ‘reverse engineering’ of natural biodevices into artificial or hybrid ones. Examples of projects under this Research Stream:

Engineering-orientated description of the interaction between biomolecules or cells and surfaces. This could lead to the design of biomolecules-specific nano-structured surfaces.

Reverse-engineering of the algorithms used by microorganisms in microfluidics devices, to be used for the physical simulation of large-scale traffic networks.

Description of biomolecular surfaces at atom-level resolution and the application of image recognition algorithms for their classification.

“No Moore”: Towards the functional integration of biomolecules and semiconductor devices. This Research Stream aims to go beyond the present application of microfabricated devices in Biology and Medicine, such as biosensors, bioMEMS, microarray and lab-on-a-chip devices, and advance on the biologically-informed design, fabrication and operation of bio-nano-devices. This Research Stream comprises projects such as:

Use of protein molecular motors in hybrid nanodevices for diagnostic, high throughput screening and biosimulation. 

Fabrication of nanostructures using the natural self-assembly of biomolecules, e.g., cytoskeletal and amyloid proteins.

Single molecule devices, e.g., DNA electronics devices and ultra-sensitive protein-based detection devices.

“More Moore”: At the limits of micro- and nano-fabrication. We study, both from an experimental and simulation point of view, the physico-chemical processes involved in micro- and nano-fabrication, and the manipulation of nano-objects. One specific area that we are interested in is the integration of self-assembly processes with the fabrication of nanostructures using micro-level fabrication techniques. The research activities under this stream will comprise, not exclusively: 

Self-assembly of micro- and nano-objects on prefabricated micro/nano-structures.

Self-organisation of materials, at the nano-level, when exposed to focused energy beams, e.g., ion or laser beams.

Resolution limits of radiation-based lithography, e.g., Image Reversal, and New Generation Lithographies.

A list of the publications in the above areas can be found here.