Our main interest is to design artificial nanostructures that can interact with cells and whole organisms and enable sensing, diagnosis and therapy of human diseases.
Using disease specific markers as guides, we are developing new self-assembled targeted delivery systems to carry nucleic acid and protein based drugs to diseased cells. We also design theranostic nanoparticles equipped with fluorescent or magnetic material to allow for bioimaging of pathological conditions. To create modular and flexible carrier system for combined biosensing, drug delivery and bioimaging, we are exploring the capacity of RNA and DNA to form self-assembled 3D structures including origamis, functionalized with rationally designed patterns of proteins, sugars and lipids.
We are also developing systems for improved gene knock down based chemically improved small interfering RNA (siRNA), microRNA and, as a new principle, circular RNA molecules (circRNAs) and applying them to relevant disease models including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, viral infections, inflammation and cancer. We are also integrating gene specific drugs with 3D printed biodegradable scaffold to spatially control the differentiation of stem cell into specific cell types with the intention, one day, to rebuild tissue and even organs in humans suffering from regenerative diseases.