The Programmable Biomaterials Laboratory (PBL) is part of the Institute of Materials (IMX) and the interfaculty bioengineering institute (IBI) at EPFL. We are experts in DNA-nanotechnology, supramolecular polymer self-assembly and cellular particle uptake and stability. We explore how precise spatial organization of molecules can control multivalent binding behavior between soft-matter and cells in a dynamic reciprocal fashion.
The goal of the Programmable Biomaterials Lab is to integrate dynamic reciprocity, e.g. a two-way action-reaction feedback loop, into supramolecular nanomaterials. Exploiting the multitude of dynamic non-covalent interactions presented by DNA, we want to create materials that self-organize into functional architectures, dictated by a dynamic interplay with cellular interactions. Herefore, we need to understand how spatial organization of active components and material geometry can be used as parameters to predict and control hierarchical self-organization and emergent properties of surfaces, in particles and in soft matter. Combining materials engineering with biophysics and immune biology, we lift DNA to become a quantifiable biomaterial with unprecedented control in cellular (inter)action.
Our research towards dynamic reciprocity in DNA-based nanomaterials focuses on:
- Dynamic materials with emergent structure and function through programmable control of self-organization
- Design of novel binding behavior through the engineering of spatial tolerance in multivalent interactions
- Precise manipulation of immune signaling through material geometry and control of functionality