LABS
BIOMATERIALS AND TE
CELL-INSTRUCTIVE MATERIALS
ORGANOTYPIC TISSUES
BIOMEDICAL DEVICES
LAB-ON-CHIP/ LAB-ON-DROP
NANOMEDICINE
SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY LAB
BIOROBOTICS LAB
SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY LAB
Synthetic biology aims at building novel biological ‘circuits’, synthetic networks, which can alter cell behavior by performing functions useful to humans in biotechnology and biomedicine. Additionally it can be used to build simplified models of complex biological pathways in order to better understand their working mechanisms. The synthetic biology market has been estimated to reach $40 billion by 2020, with Europe occupying largest share in the global market. Commercial applications based on synthetic biology have just recently entered the commercial market with, with chemicals, pharmaceuticals, energy and agriculture, as the major markets.The lab focuses on computer-controlled microfluidics devices to regulate and observe the dynamics of gene expression across single cells in real-time. A microfluidics device (or chip) consists of a standard microscopy glass-slide to which a polymer (PDMS) is irreversibly bound. The polymer is transparent and elastic, and using lithography techniques makes it possible to print micrometric channels and chambers in the chip, allowing cells to grow and proliferate using only microliters of reagent. This allows cells to be exposed to desired time-varying concentrations of a compound and for their behavior to be followed in real-time. This innovative technology is being developed to test and validate the dynamic behaviour of synthetic circuits. In the lab we are engineering mammalian cells able to induce spatial patterning in cells with potential application to regenerative medicine and also yeast strain to mimic protein aggregation in neurogenerative disorders.