Bio-Organic Chemistry Group, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Our ambition is to create hybrid cells and organelles that can be used to mimic and adjust cellular processes. We employ expertise from polymer science, nanotechnology and cell biology to achieve our goals. Are you the enthusiastic PhD student that fits in our group of excellent researchers? The research of the group Bio-organic Chemistry
focuses on compartmentalization strategies to construct micro and nanocapsules which can be applied in the areas of nanomedicine and artificial cell research. We design smart delivery vehicles that for example cross the blood brain barrier or are used in cancer therapy. We use nanoparticles as scaffolds for vaccine development. We construct capsules with life-like properties, such as metabolism, organelle-mimetic behavior and cell growth and motility. In our research we combine techniques from protein engineering, polymer chemistry and bioconjugation approaches to create particles with bioactive properties.
Further information on the research interests of Prof. Jan van Hest can be found on their website. https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/bio-organic-chemistry/
A PhD position is open in the field of Nanomotor-based ScienceNanomotor-based cell targeting and sorting
The main focus of this project will be to develop nanomotors based on polymer vesicles that can recognize, bind and isolate specific cells. Bowl-shaped vesicles, also known as stomatocytes, will be created out of biodegradable block copolymers prepared from poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(D,L- lactic acid) and loaded with enzymes, specifically glucose oxidase and catalase. Their surface will be decorated with glycopolymers to interact with specific cell types. After binding, the addition of a gradient of a biological fuel (glucose) will induce motion in the nanomotors and hence motion of the bound cells. This will lead to separation of bound cells from unbound cells, and results in cell sorting. Besides cell binding, also cell uptake will be studied.